Kim Kardashian West came face-to-face with Alice Marie Johnson for the first time since she helped get the great-grandmother’s life sentence for a nonviolent drug conviction commuted by President Donald Trump. After their meeting, the two sat down for a joint interview with Hoda Kotb of the Today show on June 14.
On becoming involved with Johnson’s case, West said, “At first, I just retweeted it, and then I sent it to my attorney. I said to her, ‘Is there anything we can do? Can we, you know, hire different attorneys? What are the options here? What can we do?'” The reality star worked a team of lawyers for seven months before meeting with the president on May 30 to discuss the former drug dealer’s case.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star said the president was open to hearing her case, “I explained to him where I found her, why I believe in her, how people deserve second chances, and immediately, I mean, the president had compassion for her right away. He felt that it was the right thing to do.” She even cracked a joke about her sister Khloe Kardashian appearing on his reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice.
At the time, Johnson was serving the 21st year of her sentence and was unaware of the level of fame West has obtained. “I did not know her name. I didn’t know Kim,” she revealed. “As soon as I found out who she was, I started getting every magazine I could find. I started reading everything that I could about her, and everyone was amazed and I was amazed, too.” Since she has helped with the 63-year-old’s path to freedom, Johnson has prayed for West and her husband, Kanye West, even keeping a picture of the couple in her bible.
Johnson wants to pay forward her freedom by helping other inmates who are first-time nonviolent offenders serving harsh sentences. “‘Thank you’ is not big enough. I think I have to walk it out,” she said. “I have to walk my ‘thank you’ out. I have to live it out for [Kim Kardashian], for my family, for the supporters.”
Mrs. West agreed that she will continue working for prison reform because this case fulfilled her heart. “Since I feel so fulfilled, why would I stop that?”
You can watch the entire interview below:
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.