A former employee of the Kardashian-Jenner empire has slammed the family, claiming she worked for an “unsustainable” wage while employed full time by the billionaire clan.
Editor and writer Jessica DeFino told news.com.au she’d worked for the Kardashian and Jenner family on their apps for about a year in 2015.
During that period, the family had launched their apps, which allowed fans access to premium content including articles, photos and videos for a $US2.99 ($A4.32) a month subscription.
In a tweet which has been retweeted 66,000 times and received almost 380,000 likes, DeFino said she’d had to do her grocery shopping at a dollar store while working for the billionaire family.
She also claimed she was chastised for taking on freelance work and trying to supplement her income. She told news.com.au her experience was “typical” but that “doesn’t make it right”.
After her tweet went viral, DeFino again took to Twitter and added “the freelancing thing was in my contract”. “It’s an awful, exploitative policy that makes sure eager, inexperienced, & poorly paid employees remain inexperienced & poorly paid,” she wrote.
I had to buy groceries at the 99 Cents Only Store when I worked as an editor on the Kardashian-Jenner Official Apps ❤️ and got reprimanded for freelancing on the side ❤️❤️ https://t.co/E4crddQo7i
— Jessica DeFino (@jessicadefino_) June 30, 2020
Kim, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner all launched their own premium subscription apps in September 2015, which were popular at the time.
However, a few years later, all the sisters announced they’d made the “difficult decision” to no longer continue updating” the apps in late 2019. Kendall had already abandoned updating her own platform the previous year.
DeFino worked as an assistant editor through the launch and running of the apps, and said her “entry-level salary was simply not sustainable”. She left the job after a year.
“I worked as an assistant editor on the Kardashian-Jenner Official Apps in 2015, as a full-time employee of a third-party company the Kardashian-Jenner family worked with to launch and run the apps,” DeFino said.
“My contract was with said third-party company and had some stipulations in place regarding outside freelance work; again, this is typical. That doesn’t make it right,” she said.
“Corporations should not be able to restrict an employee’s ability to earn a living wage outside of work hours, period.”
She said while she did enjoy working on the Kardashian-Jenner apps, her salary was not affordable while she also lived and worked in Los Angeles. She said her situation is “typical” of many writers working in the US.
Kardashian West was criticised over the weekend after posting to social media about owning 14 Friesian horses, shortly after Forbes reported the beauty mogul’s company had been valued at a billion US dollars.
Many said Kardashian West’s post was “tone deaf” as the US is ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests continue over systemic racism.
“When I saw the Twitter community memeing Kim’s tone-deaf post about owning 14 Friesian horses, I joined in with my own quick comment on the toxic culture of capitalism,” DeFino said.
“I never expected it to go anywhere – I only had a couple hundred followers at the time! “Now that it’s getting some attention, I hope it encourages deeper conversation about how the rich get rich and why the poor stay poor.”
News.com.au has contacted Kardashian West and her “momager” Kris Jenner about DeFino’s claims but is yet to receive a response.
Originally published as Kim K staffer paid ‘unsustainable’ wage