John Legend wants to set the record straight about why his friendship with Kanye West actually ended.
Their relationship was first put in jeopardy when West published a text message exchange in 2018, revealing their disagreements about then-President Donald Trump. In an interview published by The New Yorker on Sunday, Legend clarified that this was not the whole story.
The legend appeared on “The X-Files” podcast hosted by CNN’s David Axelrod last month, saying that he and West “are not as friends anymore as we used to be” and that the nearly 20-year friendship has soured “because We publicly disagreed about him running for office, his endorsement of Trump.”
Legend told Axelrod “It just became too much for us to maintain our friendship.”
The media have misrepresented his statements, Legend told The New Yorker. He explained that it was his rejection of West’s presidential ambitions in 2020 – not Trump’s – and his public support for Joe Biden that caused the rift.
“Yeah, as was told, we stopped being friends because he supported Trump, which was a misrepresentation of what I said,” Legend told The New Yorker. “It was like the Rupert Murdoch version of the story — it was on the New York Post and Fox News.”
“What I was saying was that he was so upset with me that I didn’t support Him was running for president, and that was the real inspiration for us because of the tension in our friendship,” Legend said. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but he was so upset with me that I didn’t support him and I Supported Joe Biden.”
The EGOT winner certainly had previous disagreements with West, who posed with Trump in 2016, met him at the White House in 2018 and regularly wore MAGA hats.
Legend told The New Yorker that West personally took his support for Biden and “it’s up to him whether he can get over it.”
“He was upset that I didn’t support his running for President of the United States — for understandable reasons,” Legend told the outlet. “I wasn’t alone in that, but, you know, he wasn’t happy with it. And we haven’t really been close since.”
Legend also told The New Yorker that certain political views can serve as moral “indicators of your character” and that “the most depressing thing is that [West’s 2020] For me running for presidency was an operation run by the Trump campaign. ,
“I saw his work on his part as an obvious scandal and an attempt to steer the Black votes away from Biden, so I had no way of supporting it,” Legend told the outlet. “Kanye was upset by it, and we haven’t been friends since, really.”