Kim Kardashian West said that she and Alice Marie Johnson — who had spent more than 20 years in prison serving a life sentence for non-violent drug related crimes — cried together for “three minutes straight” after the reality TV star told her that she had been pardoned by President Trump.
“I was like, ‘You’re going home,’” Kardashian told CNN. “Everyone was just crying.”
Kardashian had begun advocating for Johnson’s release seven months ago, after seeing a story about her in her Twitter feed. Kardashian noted that she was hardly the first or only person working to free Johnson, but her large social platform and personal relationship with Trump gave her a significant opportunity to make a difference in Johnson’s case.
“She lost her longtime job, got a divorce, her son died. Everything was going so bad for her, and she got desperate,” said Kardashian of Johnson, 63, who was arrested after she began using and selling drugs in the 1990s. “Everything was going so bad for her, and she got desperate. I felt like she’s a good person. You can see that in her.”
“I did what I knew how to do. Everyone has brought attention to this case and I just happened to see it on Twitter. So, I do want to give credit where credit is due to everyone that’s been working so hard on this for so long for her.”
After having success with phone calls to Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, Kardashian secured a meeting with President Trump that ultimately led to Johnson’s release. She also discussed the meeting in the Oval Office, the necessity of putting her political differences with Trump aside for a greater good — and knowing that she would face critics who believe she shouldn’t be meeting with Trump.
“I knew people wouldn’t understand it. And at that point, I had to make the decision that this was bigger than me,” she said. “I was very focused. I knew that if I have this meeting, I can’t go in there and talk about all the policies that I don’t agree with.” She said the president was very receptive to her message and pointed out Johnson’s record of good behavior in prison as a sign that she was deserving of the commutation.
On Thursday, Johnson also spoke out, describing the day she was freed as “the most incredible, amazing, overwhelming day — moment — of my life.”
Watch a portion of Kardashian’s interview with CNN below.
Read the full story at CNN.