One of the men arrested for robbing Kim Kardashian in 2016 says the reality star “should be a little less showy” in a new interview.
On Oct. 2, 2016, five individuals dressed as police officers burst into the Paris residence where Kardashian was staying for Paris Fashion Week. Kardashian was held at gunpoint and bound and gagged before being left in the bathtub, where she reportedly screamed for help as the robbers made off with $10 million worth of her jewelry.
Speaking to Vice News for a program on robberies targeting influencers, Yunis Abbas — one of the suspects, dubbed “grandpa robbers” due to their advanced age, arrested by French police for being involved in the caper — says he doesn’t feel guilty about stealing from Kardashian. Rather, he blames her for flaunting her wealth.
“Since she was throwing money away, I was there to collect it, and that was that,” the 60-something Abbas, who served 22 months in prison for the heist but was released due to health concerns, tells Vice.
“They should be a little less showy towards people who can’t afford it,” Abbas added of celebrities like the Kardashians. “For some people, it’s provocative.”
According to Abbas, who wrote the memoir I Kidnapped Kim Kardashian, social media helped the robbers keep tabs on Kardashian’s jewels, including the $4 million, 20-carat Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring she’d received from Kanye West.
“I went on the internet, and it’s true, I saw her jewelry, I saw her ring, I saw that she showed it everywhere, and we knew this information through social media,” said Abbas, who also cited an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in which the TV personality lost a diamond in the water.
He recalled thinking, “She’s got a lot of money. This lady doesn’t care at all.”
Abbas told Vice that he waited downstairs while his co-conspirators robbed Kardashian in her suite. He noted that the group had caught two lucky breaks.
“Madame Kardashian’s secretary called for help. But she called 911 in the United States, which scared us, which made them lose a lot of time,” he claimed. “And when we got out, there was a bunch of police outside who didn’t know anything about the robbery,” he said.
Kardashian has been candid about the effect the robbery has had on her mental health, breaking down in a 2017 episode of her since-canceled E! reality show.
“You don’t come out of it unscathed,” Abbas admitted to Vice. “Of course she must have been traumatized.”