The questions Kim didn't expect

KARL QUINN
Last updated 10:26 21/09/2012
Kim Kardashian
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BRAND POWER: Kim Kardashian

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Almost a year after she almost but didn't quite make it to Melbourne, Kim Kardashian has arrived.

Last November, the reality TV star was meant to be the big attraction of Oaks day, a highly paid guest of the vitamin company Swisse. But she only made it as far as Sydney before the pain caused by the end of her 72-day marriage to basketballer Kris Humphries simply became too much and she flew back home. Like, totes devo.

In Melbourne at last, with 15 interviews and a purple carpet appearance ahead of her, Kardashian was desperate to talk yesterday.

So long as there were ''no questions about [new squeeze] Kanye [West] or her divorce'', instructed her publicist. ''And a mention of QuickTrim [is] obligatory for the interview to proceed.''

QuickTrim is a dietary supplement, and the main reason for her visit. There's a box of it on the table when I walk into her room at Crown.

''I want to try it with some water; there's no milk,'' she whispers to Pearl, who is her friend or maybe her assistant or perhaps even some lesser-known member of the Kardashian clan with a reality show of her own in the works.

Have you seen my list of questions, I ask - you know, the one I had to send to the publicist so they could be approved by you?

''I have not,'' she says sweetly. ''I don't typically like to read them before. But Pearl has.''

So, you've looked at them Pearl?

''I've tried, yes,'' she says, in a tone that unmistakably suggests otherwise.

OK. Tell me about Brand Kardashian, this perplexing phenomenon that started as a 2007 sex tape and now has a multi-pronged life all its own. Was it deliberate or did it come about by accident?

''I think it just kind of happened but it was strategic in that when we got offered the reality show [Keeping Up with The Kardashians] I was thinking that we should do it for the sake of promoting our clothing store, D-A-S-H,'' Kim says. ''That's all I was focused on. Never in a million years did we ever imagine it would be this big.''

Kim reportedly earned $6 million in 2010 (''I don't really discuss finances,'' she says) and the Kardashian name attaches itself to clothing, handbags, accessories and bedding. ''I'm onto, like, my fifth fragrance,'' she adds. ''And we do QuickTrim.''

Ah, yes. Isn't it true that you and your sisters Khloe and Kourtney have been named in a class-action lawsuit over QuickTrim, with the plaintiffs alleging that (a) it doesn't work and (b) you don't even use it?

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''Mmm, I don't think ...'' says the publicist, hovering behind my left ear.

''We're not ...'' says Pearl, hovering to my right.

''Umm, I don't know if I'm going to talk about that, I don't think I can legally,'' says Kim.

''No,'' agrees the publicist.

OK. Let's move on.

Obama or Romney?

''I don't really say my view,'' she says. ''In my household it's completely war if you even discuss politics.''

She voted - for the first time - for Obama at the previous election, but this time around says, ''I'm still a little bit undecided to be honest.''

What about the mission to Mars - do you think we're ready to discover extraterrestrial life?

''Do I believe in extraterrestrial life somewhere? Probably,'' she says. ''But I try not to think about it too much so I don't freak myself out.''

If your fame comes to an end now, how would you want to be remembered?

''As a strong woman that was a really realistic person and someone that just empowered women.''

And if your time in the limelight continues, what else would you like to achieve?

''I think I've definitely achieved goals that were beyond my imagination,'' she says. ''I'm not really looking to add things to my plate. I'm just really hoping to sustain the brand long beyond the TV show.''

-The Age

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