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Fired cop charged over Breonna Taylor’s death thought his colleagues were ‘being executed’

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fired cop charged over breonna taylors death thought his colleagues were being

The fired police officer charged over Breonna Taylor‘s death thought his colleagues were ‘being executed’ when he opened fire, grand jury recordings reveal. 

An emotional former Detective Brett Hankison describes how he heard Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was shot in the leg during the botched raid in Louisville, Kentucky.

Speaking shortly after the shooting in March Hankison said: ‘I didn’t know if John was down and they couldn’t get his body or if he was – but all I could hear was the firing. I saw the flashing. 

‘I thought they were just being executed because I knew they were helping John because John said ‘I’m hit, I’m down’ and the gunfire intensified.’ 

Hankison was the only officer indicted by the grand jury, which charged him with wanton endangerment for shooting into another home with people inside. He has pleaded not guilty. 

Taylor’s death has captured national attention and prompted street protests over racism and police use of force. Demonstrators have called for the arrest of the officers and demanded justice for black emergency medical technician Taylor, 26.

In testimony heard by the grand jury and released Friday he said: ‘What I saw at the time was a figure in a shooting stance, and it looked as if he was holding, he or she was holding, an AR-15 or a long gun, a rifle.’

Taylor’s boyfriends, Kenneth Walker, was later determined to have a 9mm handgun.  

But Hankison, who shot 10 times, said he feared he and his colleagues were ‘sitting ducks’.  

Officer Brett Hankison was one of the three officers on the scene when Taylor was shot and killed. He has been charged with wanton endangerment

Officer Brett Hankison was one of the three officers on the scene when Taylor was shot and killed. He has been charged with wanton endangerment

Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor

Officer Brett Hankison was one of the three officers on the scene when Taylor was shot and killed. He has been charged with wanton endangerment 

Hankison, who had volunteered to work the shift on his day off, added: ‘We were all kind of the older guys who were put with it because this was going to be the easy location.’

He also told investigators that the EMT’s boyfriend initially claimed she was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment. 

Hankison told investigators, in an interview heard by the grand jury, that Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had told him ‘she was the one who shot at us’. Walker later said that he was the one who opened fire. 

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly

Neither Jonathan Mattingly (left) nor Myles Cosgrove (right) have been charged over Taylor’s death 

In further recordings made public Friday police serving the search warrant said they banged on her door and announced themselves from 30 to 90 seconds before breaking in.  

The newly revealed details from the police officers contrast with earlier witness reports, and their account has been a point of contention in the case that has captured national attention and prompted street protests over racism and police use of force.

Kentucky’s attorney general on Friday released audio recordings of the grand jury proceedings offering a rare peek at the inner workings of a grand jury, which is normally kept secret.

Megan Thee Stallion marked her solo debut as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live by delivering a politically-charged message to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. 

The 25-year-old rapper called out Cameron over his handling of the case of Taylor. Megan compared Cameron to ‘the sell out negros that sold our people into slavery’ before diving into a speech about the ‘need to protect our black women’. 

Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first black AG, has acknowledged that he did not recommend homicide charges for the officers involved, adding that the grand jury had the responsibility to bring additional charges if it believed they were warranted. 

The grand jury last week cleared the two white officers who shot Taylor and charged a third with wanton endangerment for stray bullets that hit a neighboring apartment in the March 13 raid.

The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told investigators that the EMT's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, initially claimed she was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment, secret grand jury testimony reveals

The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told investigators that the EMT's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, initially claimed she was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment, secret grand jury testimony reveals

The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told investigators that the EMT’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, initially claimed she was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment, secret grand jury testimony reveals 

Street protesters have called for the arrest of the officers and demanded justice for Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician whose family won a $12 million wrongful death settlement from the city of Louisville.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was with her, has said he believed the plainclothes officers who burst in might have been Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. He fired once, wounding one officer. Police then fired 32 rounds, six of which hit Taylor.

Hours later and with his voice breaking with emotion, the recordings showed, Walker told police he and Taylor were ‘scared to death’ at the banging at the door, with Taylor yelling ‘Who is it?’ at the top of her lungs but hearing no response.

The recordings made over three days of proceedings show police were confused by the burst of their own gunfire. One officer said he did not realize he had fired his weapon until after the fact.

The recordings also demonstrate grand jurors were engaged with the investigators presenting the case, peppering them with questions about why police did not wear body cameras, and whether police in the raid were aware that other officers had already located the central suspect in the investigation, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend.

Myles Cosgrove

Myles Cosgrove

Neither Jonathan Mattingly (left) nor Myles Cosgrove (right) have been charged over Taylor’s death 

Strikingly absent were any recordings of prosecutor recommendations that might have revealed how prosecutors guided the 12-member panel’s thinking.

‘Juror deliberations and prosecutor recommendations and statements were not recorded, as they are not evidence,’ Kentucky Attorney General Cameron said in a statement.

In a police interview on March 25 that was played to the grand jury last week, the officer who was wounded, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, said police banged on Taylor’s door six or seven different times, repeatedly announcing they were police there to serve a search warrant.

‘It probably lasted between 45 seconds and a minute, banging on the door,’ Mattingly said, before police broke in.

Detective Myles Cosgrove, in his interview with police investigators, said the officers knocked on the door for about 90 seconds.

Detective Brett Hankison, the officer charged with wanton endangerment, estimated there were 30 to 45 seconds of ‘banging and announcing, knocking and announcing.’

Multiple witnesses told reporters they did not hear any police announcement, and Cameron acknowledged that the single witness who verified the police account of their announcement changed his story.

The witness first told investigators in March he did not hear police identify themselves but two months later, in a follow-up interview, the witness said he heard officers knock and announce, according to an investigator who testified before the grand jury.

Officers, who had a 'no-knock' warrant, testified that they knocked three times and identified themselves before they breached her apartment

Officers, who had a 'no-knock' warrant, testified that they knocked three times and identified themselves before they breached her apartment

Officers, who had a ‘no-knock’ warrant, testified that they knocked three times and identified themselves before they breached her apartment

Evidence photos show a glass sliding door was shattered by police bullets in the shooting

Evidence photos show a glass sliding door was shattered by police bullets in the shooting

Evidence photos show a glass sliding door was shattered by police bullets in the shooting

Cosgrove, who fired 16 shots, described the experience as disorienting, with bright muzzle flashes interrupting the darkness, as he learned that Mattingly had been shot.

He said he only realized after the fact that he had started firing his gun. ‘It’s like a surreal thing,’ Cosgrove said. 

Walker’s single round came from a 9 mm handgun that he was licensed to carry. Taylor was unarmed.

After the gunfire, Walker said he dropped to the ground in fear when he saw Taylor had been shot.

‘She’s right there on the ground like bleeding,’ he said, before breaking down with emotion.

Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron hits out at ‘repugnant’ critics who called him a ‘race traitor’ for his handling of the case 

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron hit out at ‘repugnant’ critics who called him a ‘race traitor’ for his handling of the case just hours before the grand jury audio was released.  

Cameron has acknowledged that he did not recommend homicide charges for the officers involved. 

In the aftermath of the grand jury decision, Cameron was labelled ‘scum’, an ‘Uncle Tom’ and a ‘sell-out’, with detractors accusing him of siding with the white cops instead of the black victim. 

In an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Thursday evening, Cameron defended his position, stating: ‘It is so unfortunate… because I led with the facts and the truth and had that lead to the conclusion.

[embedded content]

‘It is repugnant, it is so disappointing, but it’s par for the course. Anytime someone stands for the truth, and when that truth is different from a narrative that has been pushed by others, this is how they respond.’   

‘Black Republicans, folks that believe in the truth … we are going to stand up. That’s what I did in presenting all of the information to the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor investigation, and that is what I’m charged to do. 

‘The tragedy is that Breonna Taylor… was hit. But he tragedy doesn’t allow for me to not present facts and truth — and that’s what we’ve done here.’ 

Cameron said two officers who fired their guns, hitting Taylor, were justified because Walker had fired at them first. 

In an interview earlier this week, Cameron claimed that the grand jury could have brought murder charges against the other two cops on the scene – Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrobe. 

However, Cameron claimed claimed his office did not do so because they would never have been able to prove the murder accusations at trial. 

‘Basically your question is about whether we recommended any murder charges against Cosgrove and Mattingly. The answer is no. Ultimately, our judgement is that the [only] charge that we could prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt was for wanton endangerment against Hankison.’

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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David Hockney’s canyon of California sunshine goes up for auction… with a £27million price tag

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david hockneys canyon of california sunshine goes up for auction with a 27million price tag

Full of colour, it is a stunning depiction of the Los Angeles landscape by Britain’s greatest living artist David Hockney.

Yesterday this painting – Nichols Canyon – went on display at Phillips auctioneers in London.

An estimate of £27million ($35million) has been put on the 1980 work, which has been in private hands for nearly 40 years, before a sale in New York in December.

Hockney, who lived in California at the time, passed the canyon each day on the way to his studio. 

British artist David Hockney's 1980 painting Nichols Canyon is on display at Phillips auctioneers in London ahead of a sale in New York this December

British artist David Hockney's 1980 painting Nichols Canyon is on display at Phillips auctioneers in London ahead of a sale in New York this December

British artist David Hockney’s 1980 painting Nichols Canyon is on display at Phillips auctioneers in London ahead of a sale in New York this December

He said: ‘The moment you live up here, you get a different view of Los Angeles… these wiggly lines seem to enter your life, and they entered the paintings.’

‘I was living up the hills and painting in my studio down the hills, so I was travelling back and fourth every day, often two, three, four times a day.

‘I actually felt those wiggly lines,’ the artist said in a statement.  

Hockney is better known for his swimming pool paintings. 

Nichols Canyon marked the beginning of his decades-long panoramic landscapes series.

Jean-Paul Engelen, Phillips’ Deputy Chairman, said: ‘It, without question, the most significant landscape by Hockney ever to appear at auction.’ 

The painting is due to travel from London to Hong Kong in early November before the sale scheduled to take place in New York on December 7.  

If it sells for the estimated price, Nichols Canyon would be among the top three most expensive Hockney works sold at auction.   

The auction follows the £12.8million sale earlier this month of Hockney’s painting of Sir David Webster, former chief of London’s Royal Opera House. 

The arts venue auctioned off the painting in a bid to raise funds as its revenue has been seriously depleted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A photograph shows Nichols Canyon, which Hockney depicted in a 1980 painting
Hockney's painting reimagines Nichols Canyon in the artist's characteristically vibrant colours
Slide me

Hockney was inspired to paint the winding Los Angeles road after travelling up and down it each day between his home and studio.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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TOM UTLEY: Like Prince William, even I can cook up a signature spag bol

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tom utley like prince william even i can cook up a signature spag bol

Words that often come back to haunt me were spoken years ago by the youngest of my four sons, then aged about ten, on one of the mercifully rare occasions when I found myself in charge of cooking supper: ‘Dad, why is it that everything you cook comes out orange?’

It was a fair question, I have to admit, and it is one to which I can offer no wholly satisfactory answer.

I guess the key fact you must grasp is that I was never much of a chef. 

In my 1950s childhood, my siblings and I were spoiled rotten by a mother who was a veritable wizard in the kitchen, producing gourmet meals from the most unpromising of ingredients.

Prince William during a visit at the Passage, the UK's largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people on February 2019 in London

Prince William during a visit at the Passage, the UK's largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people on February 2019 in London

Prince William during a visit at the Passage, the UK’s largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people on February 2019 in London

Elizabeth David and The Constance Spry Cookery Book were her bibles, but she also conjured up divine dishes of her own invention, from whatever scraps she happened to find in the fridge.

Alas, I didn’t inherit her talent, and the only culinary skill I learned from her was how to bake a mean sponge cake, whose recipe I’ve long forgotten.

All I remember is that it had an exquisite filling of butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence.

Blessed

Fast forward to my university days, when I never cooked a meal. 

For three years during term-time, I lived almost exclusively on a diet of coffee walnut cake from Fitzbillies, opposite the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and ‘Meal A For One’ from the local Chinese.

Don’t ask me how I kept body and soul together during the three years between my graduation at 22 and my meeting with the pretty new barmaid at my local pub, who was very soon to become Mrs U. 

I suppose I must have eaten, although I don’t recall ever having cooked anything for myself or anyone else during my days as a cub reporter in Devon and Suffolk.

All I can testify for certain is that for many years after our marriage, I never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from.

I was blessed with a wife who had a gift for cooking. As a stay-at-home mum, she prepared all our meals — and there was always something tasty on the table when I rolled home from the pub after work.

Indeed, I probably belong to the last, fortunate generation of British males whose womenfolk took it as a matter of course that it was the husband’s job to bring home the bacon, and the wife’s to cook it.

Ah, but this happy division of labour couldn’t last for ever. 

Sure enough, it came to an abrupt end for the Utleys in the early years of the new millennium, when the money ran out and Mrs U had to take a job as a bus driver to eke out the family income.

Now, I may be a Neanderthal sexist. But even I could see that it simply wasn’t fair to expect my poor wife to slave over a hot stove every evening, after driving double-deckers around London all day. 

TOM UTLEY: I guess the key fact you must grasp is that I was never much of a chef

TOM UTLEY: I guess the key fact you must grasp is that I was never much of a chef

TOM UTLEY: I guess the key fact you must grasp is that I was never much of a chef

There was no getting away from it: I’d have to pull my weight in the kitchen. But what should I — what could I — cook?

It was then that an extraordinary revelation came to me. From somewhere deep in my subconscious, I realised that there was one dish I knew how to prepare — or, at least, I thought I did.

The dish that came to mind? What else but that staple of bachelors through the ages — the signature dish for which even those of us who can hardly tell a roux from a radish seem to have a pet recipe? I mean, of course, good old spaghetti bolognese.

At some stage during my misspent youth, I suppose I must have served it up. Yet I don’t recall ever having been taught how. 

Could it be that men like me, who never venture into a kitchen if they can avoid it, pick up recipes for spag bol from the air we breathe, through some mysterious form of osmosis?

Whatever the truth, it now emerges that we are in exalted company. For this week, no less a dignitary than Prince William of Wales has unveiled the recipe for his own signature dish, while confessing: ‘I am the first to admit that I am not an excellent chef.’

Minefield

There are no prizes for guessing which dish he has chosen as his contribution to A Taste Of Home, a book of 120 recipes by eminent chefs and celebrities, published to mark the 40th anniversary of The Passage, the homelessness charity of which he is patron.

Oh, your Royal Highness, did nobody warn you that by sharing your own version of spaghetti bolognese, you were venturing into a veritable minefield of controversy, braving howls of outrage from right, left and centre?

After all, if there’s one thing that can be said with certainty about spag bol — apart from the fact that almost all of us think we can cook it — it’s that tempers run extraordinarily high over the proper way in which to set about it.

Did none of Prince William’s flunkeys remind him of how Antonio Carluccio, the Italian chef, raged a few years ago against the British practice of adding herbs or garlic to the sauce? He almost blew a gasket.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, he fulminated that we shouldn’t even serve spaghetti with bolognese, declaring that the dish doesn’t exist in his native land. ‘In Italy, it is tagliatelle bolognese,’ he said.

Yet here is our second in line to the throne, blithely recommending not only that we should serve our bol with spag, rather than tag, but that we should sprinkle the dish with parsley. ‘Not at all right!’ according to Carluccio.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to view some of the images from the Hold Still contest at Waterloo Station in London

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to view some of the images from the Hold Still contest at Waterloo Station in London

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to view some of the images from the Hold Still contest at Waterloo Station in London

Then there was the unhappy experience of poor, blameless Mary Berry, who raised a Twitterstorm of abuse a couple of years ago when she dared offer her own take on spag bol.

‘Shocked and appalled about Mary Berry adding double cream to her bolognese,’ fumed a typical posting on social media. 

‘This is NOT ragu bolognese!!!!’. Meanwhile, others took fierce exception to her use of bacon and herbs.

Mysterious

In fact, tempers also ran high at lunchtime yesterday, when I sounded out my usual focus group of regulars at the pub. 

All five at our table outside in the rain (we’re nothing if not law-abiding) had strong fixed views on the ideal recipe.

When one old buffer declared that the sauce should be cooked for at least six hours, another shouted ‘Rubbish!’ 

For good measure, the youngest member of our group swore that bolognese was only at its best after being kept for a week after cooking.

One friend recommended adding Worcester sauce, another tabasco and a third a dollop of ketchup. 

Most surprising of all, I thought, was the contribution from my old friend Chris, who assured me he’d heard from a professional chef that the secret of the perfect bol was adding chocolate. Sounds disgusting to me.

For what it’s worth — and at the risk of bringing a Twitterstorm down on my head — I can reveal that my own preferred recipe for bolognese, in the days when I was in charge, included mushrooms and green peppers. 

Otherwise, it was a great deal simpler than Prince William’s.

Unlike his, it involved no celery, milk, oregano or even carrots — which made it all the more mysterious that it always turned out orange. But then the same was true of the only two other recipes in my repertoire.

These were beans on toast and my take on goulash, which had identical ingredients to my bol, except that I made it with diced beef instead of mince, with the addition of a lot of paprika.

Enough to say that our sons breathed a huge sigh of relief when Mrs U gave up her job as a bus driver and resumed charge of the cooking.

As for Prince William, may I humbly suggest that if he wishes to maintain the monarchy’s place above the fray, he should stick to less controversial subjects than his views on spag bol?

How about telling us what he thinks of Brexit instead?

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Shameless Kim Kardashian shares even MORE birthday instas of her party going for a night swim

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shameless kim kardashian shares even more birthday instas of her party going for a night swim

Her sister Khloe Kardashian defended her during her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show following criticism of her tone deaf posts for her extravagant 40th birthday beach getaway.

And one day later, Kim Kardashian shrugged aside the controversy to share even more pictures from her reported $1 million vacation to Marlon Brando’s The Brando Resort in Tahiti.

The 40-year-old star shamelessly shared a plethora of images from her trip, as she continued the party in the ocean for a night swim as well as footage from Sunday Service on the island.

No big deal to her: Her sister Khloe Kardashian defended her during her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show following criticism for her tone deaf posts of her extravagant 40th birthday beach getaway. And one day later, Kim Kardashian shrugged aside the controversy to share even more pictures from her reported $1 million vacation to Marlon Brando's The Brando Resort in Tahiti; seen with sister Kourtney Kardashian

No big deal to her: Her sister Khloe Kardashian defended her during her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show following criticism for her tone deaf posts of her extravagant 40th birthday beach getaway. And one day later, Kim Kardashian shrugged aside the controversy to share even more pictures from her reported $1 million vacation to Marlon Brando's The Brando Resort in Tahiti; seen with sister Kourtney Kardashian

No big deal to her: Her sister Khloe Kardashian defended her during her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show following criticism for her tone deaf posts of her extravagant 40th birthday beach getaway. And one day later, Kim Kardashian shrugged aside the controversy to share even more pictures from her reported $1 million vacation to Marlon Brando’s The Brando Resort in Tahiti; seen with sister Kourtney Kardashian

Colin Hanks replied 'let them eat cake' after Kim Kardashian shared images from the island

Colin Hanks replied 'let them eat cake' after Kim Kardashian shared images from the island

Colin Hanks replied ‘let them eat cake’ after Kim Kardashian shared images from the island 

Kim captioned the slideshow from her ocean adventure as ‘night swim,’ as she posed up a storm alongside Kourtney, her former personal assistant Stephanie Shepherd and LaLa Anthony.

She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them.

They screamed and came back, claiming there was a shark in the water. 

On her stories, Kim also shared several videos to her Instagram of what she called a  ‘special surprise the last day of our trip,’ which was a Sunday Service on the island.

Her world: The 40-year-old star shamelessly shared a plethora of images from her trip, as she continued the party in the ocean for a night swim as well as footage from Sunday Service on the island

Her world: The 40-year-old star shamelessly shared a plethora of images from her trip, as she continued the party in the ocean for a night swim as well as footage from Sunday Service on the island

Her world: The 40-year-old star shamelessly shared a plethora of images from her trip, as she continued the party in the ocean for a night swim as well as footage from Sunday Service on the island

Their trip: Kim captioned the slideshow from her ocean adventure as 'night swim,' as she posed up a storm alongside Kourtney, her former personal assistant Stephanie Shepherd and LaLa Anthony

Their trip: Kim captioned the slideshow from her ocean adventure as 'night swim,' as she posed up a storm alongside Kourtney, her former personal assistant Stephanie Shepherd and LaLa Anthony

Their trip: Kim captioned the slideshow from her ocean adventure as ‘night swim,’ as she posed up a storm alongside Kourtney, her former personal assistant Stephanie Shepherd and LaLa Anthony

Looking great: She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them

Looking great: She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them

Looking great: She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them

Birthday: She wore a gold hued corset top with a matching skirt for her birthday festivities

Birthday: She wore a gold hued corset top with a matching skirt for her birthday festivities

Birthday: She wore a gold hued corset top with a matching skirt for her birthday festivities

Kim and her former personal assistant Stephanie Sherpard

Kim and her former personal assistant Stephanie Sherpard

Kim with sister Kourtney

Kim with sister Kourtney

Another one: Kim shared the slideshow on Thursday, days after mounting criticism

Camera: She made sure to have plenty of snaps of her birthday adventures; pictured with Stephanie

Camera: She made sure to have plenty of snaps of her birthday adventures; pictured with Stephanie

Camera: She made sure to have plenty of snaps of her birthday adventures; pictured with Stephanie

The attendees for the service each sat on a white chair, that was spaced out for social distancing, as they arrived to the stage to begin singing.

She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along.

Kim wrote: ‘Made my whole day,’ as she recorded them singing; showing Kanye and behind him Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian next to him.

The next clip she shared included scenes from the 1983 film Scarface of Al Pacino, although she did not give the reason why she shared them out of the blue.

Water: She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them

Water: She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them

Water: She also shared a short clip as the last slide, with the four of them heading into the water as music blasted and cameras and videos were flashing around them

Vibes: They screamed and came back, claiming there was a shark in the water

Vibes: They screamed and came back, claiming there was a shark in the water

Vibes: They screamed and came back, claiming there was a shark in the water

Their night: Kim and Stephanie claimed their was a shark in the water

Their night: Kim and Stephanie claimed their was a shark in the water

Their night: Kim and Stephanie claimed their was a shark in the water

Lucky: On her stories, Kim also shared several videos to her Instagram of what she called a 'special surprise the last day of our trip,' which was a Sunday Service on the island

Lucky: On her stories, Kim also shared several videos to her Instagram of what she called a 'special surprise the last day of our trip,' which was a Sunday Service on the island

Lucky: On her stories, Kim also shared several videos to her Instagram of what she called a ‘special surprise the last day of our trip,’ which was a Sunday Service on the island

Island: The attendees for the service each sat on a white chair, that was spaced out for social distancing, as they arrived to the stage to begin singing

Island: The attendees for the service each sat on a white chair, that was spaced out for social distancing, as they arrived to the stage to begin singing

Island: The attendees for the service each sat on a white chair, that was spaced out for social distancing, as they arrived to the stage to begin singing

Birthday surprise: She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along

Birthday surprise: She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along

Birthday surprise: She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along

Family: She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along

Family: She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along

Family: She panned out on the crowd, showing husband Kanye West sitting next to her; they ended the performance by singing Kim happy birthday, with Kanye singing along

 Khloe came to the defense of her older sister Kim, amid waves of criticism following tone deaf posts and images from her over the top 40th birthday beach getaway that took place at Marlon Brando’s The Brando Resort in Tahiti.

The 36-year-old reality star is the first person in the famous family to speak out on the growing controversy, explaining on Wednesday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show that the birthday trip was a ‘beautiful experience’ and she doesn’t want Kim to focus on anything but that: ‘I don’t want that to overshadow all the greatness that happened,’ the mother of True said.

The reported $1 million luxurious vacation comes amid the global COVID-19 and strict lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus – with her home state of California under a non-essential travel ban – a guideline which Kim and her family ignored as they jetted to Tahiti via a private jet.

Speaking out: Khloe came to the defense of her older sister Kim, amid waves of criticism following tone deaf posts and images from her over the top 40th birthday beach getaway that took place at Marlon Brando's The Brando Resort in Tahiti

Speaking out: Khloe came to the defense of her older sister Kim, amid waves of criticism following tone deaf posts and images from her over the top 40th birthday beach getaway that took place at Marlon Brando's The Brando Resort in Tahiti

Speaking out: Khloe came to the defense of her older sister Kim, amid waves of criticism following tone deaf posts and images from her over the top 40th birthday beach getaway that took place at Marlon Brando’s The Brando Resort in Tahiti

During the in person appearance on the Ellen Show, the host asked Khloe about Kim and the controversy surrounding her.

‘I haven’t heard a lot about it, but I did hear that people were upset that we all went out town [but] I don’t really know the extent of it, but this year is a frustrating year. I get it,’ Khloe said in an attempt to sidestep the controversy. 

Adding: ‘I think there’s so many frustrations going on for everybody, but also, it’s her 40th. This is something she really wanted to do for us… it was such a nice thing.’ 

Khloe continued, noting that: ‘All of the precautions and everything that we took and being there and how grateful everyone was for the tourist aspect of it – so many people said that we were their first party or guests that they’ve had in months and what it’s done for them to be able to pay their bills or do stuff for their family.’

Candid: The 36-year-old reality star is the first person in the famous family to speak out on the growing controversy, explaining on Wednesday's Ellen DeGeneres Show that the birthday trip was a 'beautiful experience' and she doesn't want Kim to focus on anything but that: 'I don't want that to overshadow the greatness that happened,' the mother of True said; her sister Kim pictured with Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble in background

Candid: The 36-year-old reality star is the first person in the famous family to speak out on the growing controversy, explaining on Wednesday's Ellen DeGeneres Show that the birthday trip was a 'beautiful experience' and she doesn't want Kim to focus on anything but that: 'I don't want that to overshadow the greatness that happened,' the mother of True said; her sister Kim pictured with Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble in background

Candid: The 36-year-old reality star is the first person in the famous family to speak out on the growing controversy, explaining on Wednesday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show that the birthday trip was a ‘beautiful experience’ and she doesn’t want Kim to focus on anything but that: ‘I don’t want that to overshadow the greatness that happened,’ the mother of True said; her sister Kim pictured with Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble in background

Her opinion: The reported $1 million luxurious vacation comes amid the global COVID-19 and strict lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus - with her home state of California under a non-essential travel ban - guideline which Kim and her family ignored as they jetted to Tahiti via a private jet

Her opinion: The reported $1 million luxurious vacation comes amid the global COVID-19 and strict lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus - with her home state of California under a non-essential travel ban - guideline which Kim and her family ignored as they jetted to Tahiti via a private jet

Her opinion: The reported $1 million luxurious vacation comes amid the global COVID-19 and strict lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus – with her home state of California under a non-essential travel ban – guideline which Kim and her family ignored as they jetted to Tahiti via a private jet

‘Just hearing those messages when we were there, we felt really good. And we did it in the safest way I could imagine someone doing it. It was such a beautiful experience and I want Kim to focus on how beautiful it was and what she did for everybody. I don’t want that to overshadow all the greatness that happened.’ 

Khloe noted that it was 20-25 people and ‘no one knew where we were going,’ adding ‘we didn’t find out until on the plane. And it was so special.’

She revealed that she and the other guests on the private plane were ‘speculating’ about where their mystery destination was: ‘We were told three nice outfits for dinners or something like that but other than that we had no idea. It was the coolest experience to be that surprised.’ 

Khloe then joked they went to New Jersey.   

In addition to Khloe, Kris Jenner and Kanye, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Rob Kardashian also attended as well as her closest friends. 

Meanwhile, UsWeekly reports that Kylie Jenner appeared to not be in attendance at the bash due to her business commitments.  

The controversy circling the family began after Kim bragged about her luxurious trip, despite calling her self ‘humbled’ and ‘blessed.’ 

Kim has been heavily criticized for taking a lavish vacation amid COVID-19 when so many people are dying from COVID-19 and suffering from losing their jobs, as well as not being able to get tested or see family for long periods of time.

She claimed in her caption that all her guests received ‘multiple health screens’ and quarantined two weeks before she surprised them with a trip to a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Followers were completely caught off guard by Kim’s long-winded post detailing the extravagant affair.

Interesting choice of words: Kim has been heavily criticized for taking a lavish vacation amid COVID-19 when so many people are dying from COVID-19 and suffering from losing their jobs, as well as not being able to get tested or see family for long periods of time

Interesting choice of words: Kim has been heavily criticized for taking a lavish vacation amid COVID-19 when so many people are dying from COVID-19 and suffering from losing their jobs, as well as not being able to get tested or see family for long periods of time

Interesting choice of words: Kim has been heavily criticized for taking a lavish vacation amid COVID-19 when so many people are dying from COVID-19 and suffering from losing their jobs, as well as not being able to get tested or see family for long periods of time

She wrote: ’40 and feeling so humbled and blessed.

‘There is not a single day that I take for granted, especially during these times when we are all reminded of the things that truly matter.

‘For my birthday this year, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than with some of the people who have helped shaped me into the woman I am today.

‘Before COVID, I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment.

‘After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.

Flaunting: Days after the controversy, Kim shared another snap from the holiday, in this case one of her, Khloe and Kourtney in bikinis; she posted this image on Wednesday

Flaunting: Days after the controversy, Kim shared another snap from the holiday, in this case one of her, Khloe and Kourtney in bikinis; she posted this image on Wednesday

Flaunting: Days after the controversy, Kim shared another snap from the holiday, in this case one of her, Khloe and Kourtney in bikinis; she posted this image on Wednesday

The Walking Dead star Tom Payne deemed Kim Kardashian's tweets as 'unbelievably awful' as she shared images while celebrating her 40th birthday on a private island amid the pandemic

The Walking Dead star Tom Payne deemed Kim Kardashian's tweets as 'unbelievably awful' as she shared images while celebrating her 40th birthday on a private island amid the pandemic

The Walking Dead star Tom Payne deemed Kim Kardashian’s tweets as ‘unbelievably awful’ as she shared images while celebrating her 40th birthday on a private island amid the pandemic

3rd Rock From The Sun star Kristen Johnston was clearly unsatisfied with Kim's lengthy justification for throwing a birthday bash amid a global pandemic

3rd Rock From The Sun star Kristen Johnston was clearly unsatisfied with Kim's lengthy justification for throwing a birthday bash amid a global pandemic

3rd Rock From The Sun star Kristen Johnston was clearly unsatisfied with Kim’s lengthy justification for throwing a birthday bash amid a global pandemic

British rocker Peter Frampton advised her that sharing of images of a luxury trip with family and friends was ill-timed

British rocker Peter Frampton advised her that sharing of images of a luxury trip with family and friends was ill-timed

British rocker Peter Frampton advised her that sharing of images of a luxury trip with family and friends was ill-timed

Kardashian also did not have the support of Better Call Saul's Michael McKean, who took a hilarious jab at the over the top extravagance of the star's birthday shindig

Kardashian also did not have the support of Better Call Saul's Michael McKean, who took a hilarious jab at the over the top extravagance of the star's birthday shindig

Kardashian also did not have the support of Better Call Saul’s Michael McKean, who took a hilarious jab at the over the top extravagance of the star’s birthday shindig

Family Guy star Ralph Garman joked about how thankful he was that Kardashian 'got a well-deserved break' from her already luxurious life

Family Guy star Ralph Garman joked about how thankful he was that Kardashian 'got a well-deserved break' from her already luxurious life

Family Guy star Ralph Garman joked about how thankful he was that Kardashian ‘got a well-deserved break’ from her already luxurious life

Bad Night star Gareth Reynolds poked fun at Kardashian's alleged plastic surgeries by asking if the people in her birthday photos were her 'team of plastic surgeons'

Bad Night star Gareth Reynolds poked fun at Kardashian's alleged plastic surgeries by asking if the people in her birthday photos were her 'team of plastic surgeons'

Bad Night star Gareth Reynolds poked fun at Kardashian’s alleged plastic surgeries by asking if the people in her birthday photos were her ‘team of plastic surgeons’

Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner, shared the seemingly tone deaf post with Twitter followers and made his feelings known

Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner, shared the seemingly tone deaf post with Twitter followers and made his feelings known

Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner, shared the seemingly tone deaf post with Twitter followers and made his feelings known

‘We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is. #thisis40’

Fewer than 30 people went to the Tetiaroa atoll where on the island the 35 luxury villas rent for up to $20,000 a night and have private pools.

But they had to charter an 88-seater Crystal Cruises jet to get fewer than 30 people there on October 20.

‘The group was limited to Kim’s closest family and friends. Everyone on the trip was repeatedly tested for COVID before they left in the middle of the night on a private Boeing 777,’ A source told the Page Six.

The group of fewer than 30 people left in the middle of the night of October 20 on a private chartered Boeing 777, according to a source

The group of fewer than 30 people left in the middle of the night of October 20 on a private chartered Boeing 777, according to a source

The group of fewer than 30 people left in the middle of the night of October 20 on a private chartered Boeing 777, according to a source

The Crystal Cruises jet can seat 88 people according to a source who said the trip cost $1million

The Crystal Cruises jet can seat 88 people according to a source who said the trip cost $1million

The Crystal Cruises jet can seat 88 people according to a source who said the trip cost $1million

They stayed on Marlon Brando's The Brando Resort in Tahiti which has only 35 villas

They stayed on Marlon Brando's The Brando Resort in Tahiti which has only 35 villas

They stayed on Marlon Brando’s The Brando Resort in Tahiti which has only 35 villas

The luxury villas French Polynesian cost up to $20,000 per night and feature private pools

The luxury villas French Polynesian cost up to $20,000 per night and feature private pools

The luxury villas French Polynesian cost up to $20,000 per night and feature private pools

Journalist Ronan Farrow replied by sharing this  Hieronymus Bosch image with Kardashian's caption in part

Journalist Ronan Farrow replied by sharing this  Hieronymus Bosch image with Kardashian's caption in part

Journalist Ronan Farrow replied by sharing this  Hieronymus Bosch image with Kardashian’s caption in part

Lemon from Canada's Drag Race Season 1 added her own meme to the trend on Tuesday

Lemon from Canada's Drag Race Season 1 added her own meme to the trend on Tuesday

Lemon from Canada’s Drag Race Season 1 added her own meme to the trend on Tuesday

New York's MoMA joined in making fun of Kardashian's humble brag by sharing a meme featuring a piece from French artist Henri Matisse

New York's MoMA joined in making fun of Kardashian's humble brag by sharing a meme featuring a piece from French artist Henri Matisse

New York’s MoMA joined in making fun of Kardashian’s humble brag by sharing a meme featuring a piece from French artist Henri Matisse

Perspective: One user even tweeted to Kardashian that her father 'didn't have a funeral' due to COVID-19 guidelines

Perspective: One user even tweeted to Kardashian that her father 'didn't have a funeral' due to COVID-19 guidelines

Perspective: One user even tweeted to Kardashian that her father ‘didn’t have a funeral’ due to COVID-19 guidelines

Blessed be the Internet: Fans caught on to her tone deaf posts and created their own images with her caption, one of which mocked the Fyre Festival

Blessed be the Internet: Fans caught on to her tone deaf posts and created their own images with her caption, one of which mocked the Fyre Festival

Blessed be the Internet: Fans caught on to her tone deaf posts and created their own images with her caption, one of which mocked the Fyre Festival

‘Once on the island they had lavish dinner after dinner, spa treatments and hikes through the nature sanctuary. There was no expense spared. Everyone was banned from posting on social media by Kim to ensure her privacy.’

Kim tried to diffuse the situation on Wednesday by posting a photo with her mother and the caption: ‘Now that I have your attention…This is a reminder to VOTE. 6 days.’

Nevertheless, the images from the Kardashian/Jenner’s luxurious trip have garnered criticism from fans as well as fellow celebrities, who did little to hide their disgust. 

To date, more than one million people have died from the coronavirus, with nearly 43million cases accounted for since COVID-19 began spreading in January.

Kim’s own home state of California has tallied more than 17,000 deaths, and Los Angeles County is still in a top lockdown due to surging numbers.

Great work: Kim tried to diffuse the situation on Wednesday by posting a photo with her mother and the caption: 'Now that I have your attention...This is a reminder to VOTE. 6 days'

Great work: Kim tried to diffuse the situation on Wednesday by posting a photo with her mother and the caption: 'Now that I have your attention...This is a reminder to VOTE. 6 days'

Great work: Kim tried to diffuse the situation on Wednesday by posting a photo with her mother and the caption: ‘Now that I have your attention…This is a reminder to VOTE. 6 days’

Sweet: On Thursday, Kim also shared a video of Caitlyn Jenner blowing out candles on her birthday cake and a pie as well; she turned 71 on October 28

Sweet: On Thursday, Kim also shared a video of Caitlyn Jenner blowing out candles on her birthday cake and a pie as well; she turned 71 on October 28

Sweet: On Thursday, Kim also shared a video of Caitlyn Jenner blowing out candles on her birthday cake and a pie as well; she turned 71 on October 28

Thoughtful: Caitlyn donned a black blouse with red bottoms for the birthday festivities

Thoughtful: Caitlyn donned a black blouse with red bottoms for the birthday festivities

Thoughtful: Caitlyn donned a black blouse with red bottoms for the birthday festivities

Tone deaf: Twitter was set alight with commentary for the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star as memes flooded the site inbetween thought-provoking anecdotes

Tone deaf: Twitter was set alight with commentary for the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star as memes flooded the site inbetween thought-provoking anecdotes

Tone deaf: Twitter was set alight with commentary for the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star as memes flooded the site inbetween thought-provoking anecdotes

'Wow so fun my family still hasn't met my six month old baby but I'm glad you're rich,' user @clhubes wrote

'Wow so fun my family still hasn't met my six month old baby but I'm glad you're rich,' user @clhubes wrote

‘Wow so fun my family still hasn’t met my six month old baby but I’m glad you’re rich,’ user @clhubes wrote

Talk about it: Underneath a meme of Blue Ivy, Twitter user @JanuaryMovie wrote: 'I'm a school teacher who had to go to the ER two different times because I got COVID pneumonia. I've been in bed, on oxygen, for 20 straight days. I don't even know if my sick leave will cover it. But go ahead and feel blessed'

Talk about it: Underneath a meme of Blue Ivy, Twitter user @JanuaryMovie wrote: 'I'm a school teacher who had to go to the ER two different times because I got COVID pneumonia. I've been in bed, on oxygen, for 20 straight days. I don't even know if my sick leave will cover it. But go ahead and feel blessed'

Talk about it: Underneath a meme of Blue Ivy, Twitter user @JanuaryMovie wrote: ‘I’m a school teacher who had to go to the ER two different times because I got COVID pneumonia. I’ve been in bed, on oxygen, for 20 straight days. I don’t even know if my sick leave will cover it. But go ahead and feel blessed’

34926710 8895009 image a 15 1604026927202

34926710 8895009 image a 15 1604026927202

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34926720 8889129 image a 132 1603946062726

'For my birthday I was sent a notice of unemployment & I haven't seen my mom since March! Hopefully you're happy on your island of fun vacation,' @mamavegan13 wrote.

'For my birthday I was sent a notice of unemployment & I haven't seen my mom since March! Hopefully you're happy on your island of fun vacation,' @mamavegan13 wrote.

‘For my birthday I was sent a notice of unemployment & I haven’t seen my mom since March! Hopefully you’re happy on your island of fun vacation,’ @mamavegan13 wrote.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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