Taylor Swift didn’t step away from the spotlight just for show.
During her Reputation Stadium Tour opening night show in Glendale, Arizona, the 28-year-old star opened up to her fans in an intimate moment about going through a difficult time “a couple of years ago” while alluding to her feud with Kim Kardashian West.
“Someone called me a snake on social media and it caught on,” she said while speaking to the record-breaking audience at the University of Phoenix Stadium. “And then a lot of people called me a lot of names on social media, and I went through some really low times for a while because of it.”
In July 2016, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality star, 37, branded Swift a “snake” and posted videos on her Snapchat of a private phone call between the Grammy winner and West, 40, discussing his song “Famous.”
“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world,” the singer wrote on her Instagram account afterwards.
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Though the entertainers were never heard discussing the specific lyric “Why? I made that bitch famous” — which Swift has consistently said is what upset her — the “Delicate” singer received a flood of backlash from fans calling her a liar.
“I went through some times when I didn’t know if I was gonna get to do this anymore,” she told her fans on Tuesday night before launching into “Long Live,” a track off her Speak Now album. “I guess the snakes … I wanted to send a message to you guys that if someone uses name calling to bully you on social media and even if a lot of people jump on board with it, that doesn’t have to defeat you. It can strengthen you instead.”
Swift has embraced the snake during her reputation era, and her stages, merch and album promo have all featured the slithery reptile.
“I think something that came out of it that was good is that I learned a really important lesson that I’ve been telling you from the stage for about 10 years but I never had it learn it so harshly myself, and that lesson has to do with how much you value your reputation,” she concluded. “And I think that the lesson is that you shouldn’t care so much if you feel misunderstood by a lot of people who don’t know you as long as you feel understood by the people who do know you, the people who will show up for you, the people who see you as a human being. So thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to get to know me, for showing up for me, for seeing me as a human being. That’s you. You did that for me.”
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