Rumors have been circulating that Kim Kardashian West is cheating on Kanye West with Marquette King, punter for the Oakland Raiders. Whether or not that's true should not concern the public. What should instead is that the rumor is exploitative and harmful. Here's why:
First, Kanye was recently hospitalized for sleep deprivation and exhaustion.
Second, Kim is judged far too harshly for her sexuality.
Finally, marriage is a private commitment and understanding between two people — even when they're celebrities.
Kanye needs his rest. He's clearly going through a tremendous ordeal the likes of which has brought a ton of scrutiny. Rumors of his allegedly failing marriage cannot possibly help Yeezy rest easy.
"Having to hear rumors about Kim cheating is the absolute last thing Kanye needs right now," a source told Hollywood Life in a story for the tabloid's series on the matter. "Kim's been amazing, but their relationship has been under a lot of strain in the past year. Having stuff like this thrown in his face is really hard on him. Kanye trusts Kim, but he also can't help himself from getting a little jealous and insecure sometimes."
Such gossip does nothing but damage to a man who is clearly suffering and in need of a break from the limelight.
"He needs to focus on himself and what he can control, not crazy talk about his wife cheating," added the Hollywood Life source. "Kim and his people are trying to keep Kanye off the grid as much as possible so he doesn't get stressed with stories like this."
Even if Kim and Kanye's team manage to wean Kanye off of social media and internet chatter for a while, his return to the digital world is inevitable. He is a musician, an entrepreneur and a brand. His career simply will not allow him to remain off of Twitter forever (even if he apparently ditched his phone to give himself "air to create" back in September).
It's also sexist and sex-negative to accuse Kim of straying while her husband is in the hospital. Throughout her career, Kim has battled accusations that she is somehow too sexual. She's been criticized for her sex tape and bashed for her Paper magazine cover. When Kim posted a naked selfie earlier this year, she reminded us that her career has been one long exercise in slut shaming.
"Kim's got two kids, a husband who needs her more than ever, is still dealing with the robbery aftermath and has a business to tend to," continued the Hollywood Life source. "She barely has time to have sex with her husband, let alone step out on him with Marquette. The only place she's creeping late at night is to the store to get dessert to avoid the paparazzi."
Even if Kanye hadn't just been hospitalized, or Kim weren't fighting misogyny (which are two issues too big to ignore), they are still a married couple. Other people may be affected by a marriage — particularly children and other close family members — but the personal relationship between partners is at the core of any marriage. Whatever they do (or don't) remains between them. How they communicate, how they process, how they honor each other day by day is their concern, not ours. The commitment between partners should never be thrust in the public spotlight.
Meanwhile, King dismissed the rumors of his alleged affair with Kim in a single tweet.
That big heart is perfectly fitting. If we're going to pay any attention to Kim and Kanye's marriage, we should do so with compassion. There's already enough unkindness in the world and too much of it is aimed at people of color and so-called "oversexed" women. Their private life doesn't need our ghoulish speculation or judgment. Let them heal behind closed doors.