WHEN one of the most turbulent marriages in showbiz finally imploded in February, many feared Kim Kardashian and Kanye West would spend the next decade in all-out war.
But despite getting divorce proceedings under way — and a well-documented and very public mental health crisis for the rapper — it seems their separation may not be a done deal.
Sources close to the couple say they have quietly put their divorce on pause, while growing close together once more.
And onlookers have spotted a string of hints that their troubled romance may be heading back on track.
Last Thursday, Kim, 40, and 44-year-old Kanye joined friends for an intimate dinner at the upmarket Nobu Malibu restaurant in California, where they looked as happy as they were at the height of their love affair.
They even left together, despite months of living separately in the lead-up to their split.
'I FEEL LIKE A LOSER'
One insider explains: “The brakes seem to have been slammed on.
“They’re in a very different place now and the divorce just isn’t a priority. The future suddenly looks a lot brighter.”
Signs of a reunion have been quietly brewing for weeks, with the duo becoming increasingly supportive of each other’s projects and relaxing their once-vicious war of words.
In August, Kim was guest of honour at Kanye’s listening party in Chicago to launch his latest album Donda.
She appeared alongside him on stage wearing a wedding dress as they re-enacted their nuptials outside a mock-up of Kanye’s childhood home.
With the couple’s children also at the event, there were raised eyebrows among fans who presumed they had already reconciled.
Sources close to the couple continued to insist, however, they were “just good friends”.
Since then, their relationship has continued to blossom — with the couple’s language increasingly softening and becoming more supportive of each another.
As Kim’s reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians came to a close for the final time in June, she was seen lamenting the demise of her marriage.
With Kanye opting to spend months away from the family home — at times in entirely secretive locations — she was heard telling mum Kris Jenner: “After turning 40 this year I realised no, I don’t want a husband that lives in a completely different state to me.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s when we’re getting along the best’. But that is sad to me and that’s not what I want. I want someone who has the same shows in common, I want some- one that wants to work out with me.”
She added: “He should have a wife that supports his every move and travels with him and does everything, and I can’t. I feel like a f***ing failure.
“It’s my third f***ing marriage. Yeah, I feel like a f***ing loser. But I can’t even think about that. I want to be happy.”
The rapper has regularly been seen back at the marital home, which the couple shared with their four children, North, eight, Saint, five, Chicago, three, and Psalm, two.
It is believed Kanye is the driving force behind an effort to make their relationship work again.
'STILL IN LOVE WITH ME'
In a further hint at a reconciliation, Kim copied one of her husband’s iconic fashion statements during her appearance at the Met Gala in September, where she wore a black stocking over her head similar to Kanye’s balaclava-clad outings in recent months.
She also remains partial to items from his Yeezy footwear range.
Sources close to Kanye reveal: “He is still styling her most of the time. She really values his creative input and is happy to work together on her look.”
But most convincing of all is the rhetoric between the pair.
Kanye’s public appearances and three album listening parties appeared increasingly designed to win back his wife’s affections.
At early events he claimed: “I’m losing my family, I’m losing all my family, darling, come back to me.”
But at his most recent event, with Kim and their children in the audience, he rapped: “But you came here to show that you’re still in love with me.”
Alongside regular visits to the family home, Kanye is increasingly basing himself in California again — having spent the preceding 18 months away, largely at a £10million ranch in Wyoming — which he bought to work on his latest record.
He has now put the property up for sale in a hint he is keen to stay put for the foreseeable future — a move that sparked excitable rumours among fans.
One wrote online: “Kanye putting all his work space in Wyoming up for sale is very interesting.
“Maybe he’s serious about reconciling with Kim.”
Another added: “Kim and Kanye will get back together, you heard it here first.”
But for those closest to the couple, it is their reluctance to push forward legal proceedings over their divorce that most prominently confirms their reunion plans.
The pair had previously agreed to joint custody of their children and confirmed in papers that neither would require spousal support from their ex.
Kim’s legal paperwork revealed they had kept their properties separate throughout the marriage due to the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement.
'CALMER AND HAPPIER'
A Los Angeles source familiar with the pair’s case said: “When you’ve got the money they have, and things have been so toxic at times, you can get things raced through fairly quickly if you need to.
“As long as there isn’t too much disagreement over who gets what, it can be settled and dealt with — and the biggest factor here is that they had a pre-nuptial agreement before they got married, so it could be relatively simple.
"There’s no reason they couldn’t have put all this behind them within a matter of months, but they’ve stalled and dragged their heels because in reality neither of them is really that sure any more.”
The most significant change is said to be Kanye’s improving mental state.
A string of high-profile melt-downs last year sparked major concerns for his welfare.
The rapper became notorious for his social media rants in which he accused his wife of “trying to bring a doctor to lock me up” and suggested his mother-in-law was controlling his life.
Most controversially, at a rally for his failed presidential campaign bid, he claimed he stopped his wife from having an abortion with their first child in 2013 — comments for which he later apologised.
A source said: “He’s got things back under control.
“There’s no doubt Kanye will always suffer from mental health issues — he has been very open about that — but while he’s got a grip on those, he’s a very different man.
“The Kanye of today is a world away from the guy who was ranting and raving 12 months ago.
“He’s calmer, happier and more sensitive — and Kim recognises that.
“If he can keep things on track, there’s every chance they will save their marriage and get their happy ever after.”
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