It is illegal in California to secretly record phone calls
On Sunday night (July 17), Kim Kardashian posted film of West talking to Swift over the phone in the studio discussing the former’s song, ‘Famous’. Swift has since taken offence at the lyrical content of the song since its February release, with West rapping that: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous“, referring to the infamous incident when West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV VMAs. She also claimed that no conversation between the pair about the track had taken place prior to its release.
Swift is said to have first threatened West with legal action for recording their phone conversation in February in an effort to deal with the issue before it went public. It has been reported that the conversation was recorded from a Los Angeles studio and that it is both illegal and a felony in the US state of California to secretly record phone calls.
The former’s lawyer had previously sent a letter to the Wests’ attorney stating that “demand is hereby made that you immediately destroy all such recordings, provide us of assurance that this has been done, and also assurance that these recordings have not been previously disseminated.”
TMZ now reports that Swift is “thinking about filing a crime report against Kanye West for illegally recording their phone conversation, and against Kim Kardashian for publicly releasing the audio”. Sources say that the singer is “undecided and is trying to think through the consequences of filing a police report”. This has not yet been verified by Swift herself.
West initially claimed that he had asked for Swift’s approval of the lyric before releasing the track and that she gave her blessing. Swift later denied this and appeared to subtly refer to West’s lyrics during her acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards in February, saying: “I want to say to all the young women out there [that] there are going to be people along the way who are going to try and undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”
The issue was reignited on Sunday when Kardashian posted snippets of a video to Snapchat, showing West talking to Swift on the phone. During the conversation, West raps “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” but not the following line “I made that bitch famous”. Swift calls the line “dope” and says that she “really appreciate[s] you telling me about it”.
Since the leak, Swift has taken to Twitter to accuse West and Kardashian of “character assassination”. In a statement, she points out that West failed to inform her of the “that bitch” lyric.
“I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009,” Swift adds. Read the full statement below.