Blac Chyna’s $100 Million Defamation Trial Against Kardashians: What's Happened So Far

The case has received renewed attention this month thanks to the trial having started roughly five years after news of the lawsuit first broke.

Blac Chyna is pictured at an event

Image via Getty/Prince Williams/Wireimage

Blac Chyna is pictured at an event

On Sept. 11, 2016, Rob & Chyna premiered on the E! Network, which had been airing Keeping Up with the Kardashians and assorted spinoffs since 2007. A second season was expected, if not widely treated as a foregone conclusion, but never came to pass. And by 2017, the conversation had shifted to a lawsuit from series star Blac Chyna, who alleges members of the Kardashian-Jenner family “killed” her show.

Ahead of the start of the trial, Chyna shared a message to Twitter stating she was planning to “re-focus my attention” on the proceedings against Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner.

“At the end of the trial, I’m going to be able to proudly tell King and Dream that I did everything I could to right the wrong that was done to me,” she wrote, referencing her two children.

— Blac Chyna (@BLACCHYNA) April 2, 2022

The short of it is that Chyna, per the Associated Press, is suing the Kardashians for $100 million in earnings, notably alleging—among other things—defamation. Rob Kardashian is also being sued by Chyna, with a judge having previously made the decision to give those allegations a separate trial.

Given the high profile nature of the case, subsequent in-court revelations are receiving a great deal of headlines-related attention. Below, we’ve broken down highlights from the proceedings on a day-by-day basis.

While the jury selection process isn’t routinely newsworthy, the Blac Chyna and Kardashians case marks an exception.

Kim, Kris, Khloé, and Kylie were in the front row of the Los Angeles courtroom on Monday the 18th as potential jurors spoke candidly about their feelings on those involved in the case. One individual, described in a Page Six report as a man seemingly “in his 50s or 60s,” claimed he would be unable to remain impartial due to having previously watched Kim Kardashian’s sex tape.

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Opening statements set the tone on Tuesday, with lawyer Lynne Ciani—who’s representing Blac Chyna—telling the jury that Kris Jenner intentionally pursued the cancelation of Rob & Chyna.

“Kris Jenner set out to have Rob & Chyna canceled,” Ciani said, per the AP. “And she brought in her three daughters to help accomplish that.”

The attorney for the defendants, meanwhile, told jurors the series was canceled by E! because of the outcome of the relationship at its center.

“The evidence is going to show you that [Blac Chyna] would say or do anything to be part of this family,” the attorney, Michael G. Rhodes, said Tuesday.

A key point in the opening statements is a fight said to have taken place on Dec. 4, 2016. Moving forward, those keeping an eye on the proceedings should expect to hear detailed takes on that day from all involved. Ciani, meanwhile, said unaired show footage would prove Chyna had not seriously injured Rob as has been alleged by the other side.

Blac Chyna herself also took the stand on Tuesday, albeit briefly. Also addressed was a previously reported Instagram Live session from Blac Chyna’s mother, Tokyo Toni. Per TMZ, Toni said during the IG Live session that Kris Jenner was wearing “a fucking crusty ass tan suit with one button.” The comments, per reports, resulted in her no longer being allowed in court.

Blac Chyna returned to the stand on Wednesday.

Speaking on having wrapped a cord around Rob’s neck and grabbing an unloaded gun during the briefly aforementioned 2016 incident, Chyna told the court both actions were not done in a serious manner. Asked directly by Rhodes if standing behind Rob with a phone cord and wrapping it around his neck “was a joke,” Chyna said that it was.

As for the gun, Rhodes later asked Chyna if “grabbing a gun is funny,” prompting Chyna—per trial excerpts shared by the AP—to state, “It was a joke.”

According to Chyna, Rob frequently had issues with jealousy, which contributed to the fight in question. Chyna, however, says her anger never extended beyond damaged property including a gingerbread house and a TV. Rhodes pointed to the damaged property as examples of what his clients were concerned about, arguing that they saw these instances as signs of behavior that left them concerned about their family member.

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While addressing Rob allegedly having non-consensually shared nude photos of her to social media, Chyna—who was reported in the summer of 2017 to have gotten a restraining order against him—explained both the court order and subsequent Good Morning America appearance marked her only option for a response.

“I was already public,” Chyna said, per TMZ. “I’m supposed to just not say anything and take it? I wanted everyone to hear my side of the story. He posted nudes of my entire body.” At one point, per reports, Chyna requested a brief break from the proceedings after becoming visibly upset.

Also on Thursday, Kris Jenner took the stand. Mentioned by Ciani was Blac Chyna’s previous relationship with Tyga, as well as claims about Chyna which made their way to Jenner. These claims, including allegations of abuse, were not immediately a cause of concern for the family. 

“There was just a lot of drama, which I’m used to in my family,” Kris Jenner said. Eventually, per the Associated Press, Thursday’s discussions turned briefly to the December 2016 Rob/Chyna fight before coming to a close. Elsewhere, Kris alleged Blac Chyna threatened to kill Kylie Jenner at one point.

Kris Jenner shared more on the December 2016 incident during her witness stand comments on Friday, specifically noting the family had months earlier been dealing with therobbery of Kim Kardashian at gunpoint in Paris.

Initially, Jenner explained, she believed Chyna had pointed a gun at her son’s head. Her boyfriend, Corey Gamble, is said to have separated Rob and Chyna on the evening in question. Asked by Ciani why authorities were not notified, Jenner noted the “ongoing” aspect of fights between the two, adding she was “hopeful that it would be okay.”

Also of note on Friday, per an AP rundown, were texts from Kris to the showrunner of Rob & Chyna. One text saw Jenner mention Chyna having allegedly “beat the shit out of Rob’s face,” although Jenner—using the recent Oscars slap as an example—now says this was merely a figure of speech. Another text from Kris to the showrunner was mentioned as having seen the Jenner Communications CEO urging them to “ditch this bitch.”

Addressing the latter, Kris Jenner reiterated her stance that she was not involved in the ultimate decision to call off additional Rob & Chyna episodes. Instead, she explained, the “ditch this bitch” text was merely how she was feeling amid the December 2016 incident.

Also during Friday’s proceedings, the topic of whether Rob & Chyna had been formally renewed for a second season was broached. Executive producer Jeff Jenkins, per Page Six, said he was not aboard for another round due to the “volatility” of its stars.

When her turn came to take the stand on Monday, Kylie Jenner said that at one point she warned Rob about Chyna’s behavior, having herself been informed by Chyna’s (and eventually Kylie’s) ex, Tyga.

“Kylie says she wouldn’t have ever considered Chyna a close friend, but says Tyga—who has a kid with Chyna—once showed her a 6-inch long scar on his arm, claiming it was a knife wound at the hands of Chyna,” TMZ reported.

Kylie testified that her warning didn’t result in a split for Rob and Chyna. “I felt it was my duty to express my concerns, but ultimately it was up to him,” she said, per the outlet.

Khloé Kardashian took the stand, saying she thought Blac Chyna’s dangerous behavior could hurt the Kardashian brand, TMZ reports. She explained that she wanted to protect Rob from “outrageous/chaotic/violent behavior,” created by his relationship with Chyna, and added that the family was “considering not being a part of such toxicity,” when it came to filming their show.

“We are even considering not moving forward with our show if theirs continues, that’s how strongly we feel this is damaging to our family,” Khloé wrote in an email.

Kim Kardashian also took the stand, where an alleged text she sent read, “Chyna can never be on her show.” Kim said she meant to say “our show,” and blamed her phone’s voice memo function for the mistake. 

When asked if the message was meant to kill a second season of Rob & Chyna, Kim said she was talking about her own desire to not be filmed. 

“I can’t control the content of what they film, but this is our show—why would we film with her?” she said, per Page Six. “I really don’t know what they were filming [for Rob & Chyna] beyond when the fight happened. Clearly something happened.”

Kim also allegedly asked a producer if Chyna was getting paid, to which Kim testified, “Clearly, if I’m asking if [Chyna is] getting paid, I have no knowledge if she was getting paid on our show.”

Kim added, “I was just expressing that I will be taking a break from filming to assess how I’m feeling. I will not go into work in a toxic environment. I can only control what I can do, which is to take a break.”

Per Variety, the Kardashians filed a motion asking the court to dismiss Chyna’s claims. 

“Before trial began, these claims were absurd because there was no documentary evidence, economic analysis, or expert testimony that would support them,” the family’s attorney said in court documents, obtained by Variety. “Any attempt to assign economic damages by the jury would be impermissibly speculative.”

Rob Kardashian testified on Wednesday that Chyna physically abused him and threatened his life, and confessed his love for her “wasn’t real.” The 35-year-old said that amid the December 2016 incident that’s been referenced throughout the trial, Chyna attacked him “several” times with a six-foot metal rod, a phone cord, and her nails, as well as pulled a gun on him.

“You don’t put a gun to your fiancé’s head,” he said, per People, alleging Chyna had used cocaine and alcohol. “It got very scary when a gun was put to my head. I tried to make it work as long as I could for the sake of our daughter.”

In his nearly two-hour testimony, Page Six reports, Kardashian spoke about his decision to spend New Year’s Eve with Chyna after the 2016 conflict. “I have social anxiety…and I gained a lot of weight. She forced me to go out of the house. I went to dinner and that was that,” he said. “I wasn’t happy. Going out of the house after she put a gun to my head. She put that on her Snapchat, but that to me isn’t happy. That’s just fake.” 

Rob said his relationship with Chyna began at “the worst place in my entire life, at my weakest, lowest point.” He continued, “She was the one person who brought me in at my lowest point. So I ignored her bad behavior towards my family. I was very vulnerable. I wasn’t thinking about that stuff. My mind was just in a completely different place.”

As jurors prepared to begin deliberations, the presiding judge rejected Blac Chyna’s request to re-do her testimony.

According to TMZ, Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, claimed her client needed to re-take the stand to properly share her side of the story as well as raise any concerns she might have. Ciani said Chyna had been “triggered” after seeing the nude photos Rob Kardashian allegedly leaked several years ago—so much so, she struggled to give her testimony during the cross examination.

Judge Gregory Alarcon denied the request, saying Chyna had plenty of time to make her case, as she spent about 11 hours on the stand. 

“I see your decision on this motion,” Ciani told Alarcon after he announced his decision. “I emphatically insisted that the naked photo not be presented to the plaintiff.”

Alarcon suggested the parties agreed that the explicit photos could be used as evidence, but could not be shown to jurors. The pictures in question were given to Chyna in a binder during the trial. 

The Kardashians scored a legal victory during the jury’s first full day of deliberations.

Presiding Judge Gregory W. Alarcon ruled Kim Kardashian was not be liable in Blac Chyna’s defamation claims, and should therefore be removed as a defendant. Chyna’s legal team argued that Kim—along with Khloé Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and their mom, Kris Jenner—took a “responsible part” in defaming Chyna; however, Alarcon determined the plaintiff’s attorneys failed to provide sufficient evidence that Kim was involved “in the publication of the alleged statement by the other defendants.”

“Because [Blac Chyna] has neither identified an allegedly defamatory statement by Kim Kardashian, nor specified an instance where she ratified an allegedly defamatory statement by another party, the claim against her must be dismissed,” read the legal document, per People. “[Blac Chyna’s] vague assertion on the record during [her] argument that Kim Kardashian ‘ratified those statements and encouraged her sisters to make them—without specifying how Kim Kardashian ratified them and to whom—is woefully insufficient to maintain a claim.”

The jury continued to deliberate the defamation claims against Kris, Khloé, and Kylie. All the defendants, including Kim, are still facing allegations of interference with a contract; that claim is still being deliberated in court. 

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