Here’s some news most were probably not expecting to hear: Kim Kardashian West will visit the White House to discuss prison reform.
The reality star has been advocating for 62-year old great grandmother Alice Marie Johnson, who has been serving a life sentence for a first-time drug offense. A source told Vanity Fair that Kardashian West learned about Johnson’s story on Twitter and reached out to Ivanka Trump, who connected her with senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“I’ve been in communication with the White House and trying to bring her case to the president’s desk and figure out how we can get her out,” Kardashian West said to Mic.com earlier this month. “That’s such a huge step from where we started with that not even being on their radar.”
After several discussions over the phone, the face-to-face meeting is set for today with a special meaning.
Alice Marie Johnson
Johnson has served more than 21 years of her life sentence after being imprisoned for her involvement in a low-level, non-violent drug operation. Her only chance at being released is to be granted clemency from the president.
Mic featured her in a video back in October 2017. The video tallied over four million views and 19,000 shares on Facebook. It was also featured on Twitter, where Kardashian West viewed it.
Kardashian West told Mic that it was their video that inspired her to help Johnson get released in any way she can, admitting that her priorities in life have changed and she wants to use her fame to help those in need. She has since brought on her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley, who worked with Robert Kardashian during the O.J. Simpson trial.
Johnson describes her story in the Mic video. She was convicted for her role in facilitating communications in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996. She told Mic that her involvement was due to financial hardship.
“I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money,” Johnson said.
The lead-up to her involvement in the drug operation was her divorce, her son being killed in a motorcycle accident and losing her job. It was one thing after another that caused her to make one bad choice.
“If you think about a decision that you’ve made in your life and you get life without the possibility of parole for your first-time nonviolent offense, there’s just something so wrong with that,” Kardashian West said to Mic.