- Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were married for almost seven years, and have four children
- West recently launched an ill-fated bid for the US presidency, while Kim Kardashian has taken steps towards becoming a lawyer
- Kardashian has called on the media to show “compassion and empathy” following Kanye’s erratic behaviour
Kardashian’s publicist confirmed the divorce filing to AFP but did not provide further details.
The pair, who began dating in 2012 and married in a lavish ceremony in Italy two years later, rapidly became one of the world’s most recognisable couples.
West, 43, has opened up about his struggles with bipolar disorder.
In July last year the mercurial entertainment mogul launched a bid for the US presidency in a rambling speech in which he revealed he had wanted to abort his daughter and broke down in tears.
He also posted a series of tweets, later deleted, that accused his wife and mother-in-law of trying to lock him up, and suggested he was seeking a divorce.
Both Kardashian and West are reported to be billionaires. West made his money through his music as well as his Yeezy fashion and sneaker line.
Kardashian, who is training to be a social justice lawyer, made her money through her TV series, as a social media influencer and by developing lucrative fashion and cosmetic lines.
West has 30 million followers on Twitter, Kardashian has nearly 200 million on Instagram. Both are among the most posted-about people in the history of social media.
West was a vocal supporter of former US president Donald Trump and became a minor candidate for the nation’s top job last year, but he ended up having little effect on the election.
Kardashian has taken preliminary steps toward becoming a lawyer after devoting herself increasingly to freeing the unjustly imprisoned, something which has led to meetings with Mr Trump.
‘Compassion and empathy’
Kardashian called on the media and public to show “compassion and empathy” following her husband’s erratic behaviour.
The couple have four children: seven-year-old daughter North, five-year-old son Saint, three-year-old daughter Chicago, and 21-month-old son Psalm.
Aside from family visits, West has been living at his sprawling ranch in Wyoming in recent months, while Kardashian and the children have stayed in California.
It would be the first divorce for West and the third for Kardashian, who rose to fame through the US reality TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which followed the lives of her family members in Los Angeles.
Chicago-raised rapper and record producer West has won 21 Grammys. He burst onto the rap scene on the back of his production chops, before delivering a string of critically acclaimed studio albums, selling over 20 million copies.
He has made a very public turn to Christian evangelism in recent years and released a gospel album.
The pair began dating in 2012 while Kardashian was going through divorce proceedings with second husband Kris Humphries.
Kardashian and West’s first child was born in June 2013, and the couple married the following year at a 16th-century fortress in Florence, Italy, after a pre-wedding celebration held at the Palace of Versailles in France.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ — which broke the news of the divorce on Friday — said the separation was “as amicable as a divorce can be”.
The report said Kardashian was asking for joint custody of the couple’s four children.