The Kardashian-Jenner Family, Jordyn Woods, and the Law: How Non-Disclosure Agreements Operate
Written by Kendra Peterson
Introduction: The Scandal That Started It All
For those that keep up with the Kardashians, it came as a shock when the news broke about Jordyn Woods’ cheating scandal. Jordyn Woods is the best friend of the world’s youngest billionaire and pop culture icon, Kylie Jenner. Allegedly, Jordyn Woods got a little too close with Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend and father of her child, NBA player Tristan Thompson. Almost immediately after the news broke, rumors flew about Kylie Jenner removing Jordyn Woods from her house and cutting ties altogether. While Kylie Jenner is reportedly heartbroken over the betrayal of her best friend, one thing stands true: the Kardashians put family first and stand as a united front against anyone who crosses them.
While the versions of what really happened flooded the internet, Jordyn Woods agreed to talk about the incident on Red Table Talk, a show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith that airs on Facebook. People were undoubtedly on the edge of their seats waiting to hear Jordyn Woods tell her side of the story, but it begged the question: there must be an NDA, right?
What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
An NDA is short for a Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is a contract that both parties sign which requires them to keep certain information in the contract confidential for a defined period of time. Non-disclosure agreements are used for a wide range of reasons, from protecting non-public business information, to protecting trade secrets, to ensuring people around celebrities do not spill all the secrets of the high-life. Here, the alleged non-disclosure agreement likely included language to keep the private affairs of the Kardashian family confidential.
However, non-disclosure agreements are contracts and can be held unenforceable by a judge. For example, if the contract is too broad or general, the court can refuse to enforce the contract, effectively making the non-disclosure agreement non-existent. Also, contract law is governed by state law, meaning each state has different laws regarding the enforceability of non-disclosure agreements. As the Kardashian-Jenners are residents of Calabasas, it is likely that the non-disclosure agreement in question will be governed by California law. While California generally does not recognize non-competes and customer non-solicits, it does have a reputation to enforce non-disclosure agreements. There are many cases interpreting non-disclosure agreements, giving lawyers guidance of what will be enforced. Good drafting is key to ensure a non-disclosure can be enforced in court. Given that Kylie Jenner is a billionaire, she likely had competent lawyers draft her non-disclosure agreements, making them as ironclad as can be. So, what happens when one party violates a non-disclosure agreement?
Breach of a Non-Disclosure Agreement
A suit for violation of a non-disclosure is a breach of contract claim and can only be brought by the non-breaching party. Because this is a civil rather than criminal act, the non-breaching party will likely seek monetary damages. Yet sometimes absolutely nothing happens when someone violates a non-disclosure agreement. Suing someone for breaching a contract costs a significant amount of money, including attorney’s fees and court costs, and can take up a substantial amount of time. While this may not be a worry for the rich and famous, there are also non-tangible costs in suing someone for breaching a non-disclosure agreement. Case in point, Kylie Jenner would be suing her former best friend of over a decade, which carries with it some potential emotional consequences. The non-breaching party will likely take all these considerations into mind before making the decision to sue.
Regardless of the potential consequences of breaching the allegedly “ironclad NDA,” Jordyn Woods spoke candidly with Jada Pinkett-Smith on Red Table Talk, which was posted on March 1, 2019. Now the (basket)ball is in Kylie Jenner’s court (pun intended). If a non-disclosure does exist, and Jordyn Woods breached it, it is now up to the non-breaching party (Kylie Jenner) to enforce it by means of a lawsuit.
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Natalie Robehmed, At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever, Forbes (last visited March 10, 2019).
Todd Spangler, Jordyn Woods Interview With Jada Pinkett Smith on ‘Red Table Talk’ Sets Facebook Viewing Record, VARIETY (last visited March 10, 2019).
Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar.