Reality TV star Kim Kardashian returned to New York "badly shaken" on Monday after being robbed at gunpoint in her Paris residence by masked men who stole some $10 million worth of jewelry from her.
Kardashian, wearing sunglasses and with her head bowed, was pictured entering her Manhattan apartment with her rapper husband Kanye West. She had left Paris by private jet hours after robbers tied her up in the bathroom and put a gun to her head.
Kardashian, who her publicist said was "badly shaken but physically unharmed," said nothing to waiting media upon her arrival.
"What happened is very unfortunate and those responsible must be severely punished," French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told TV5 Monde. "We are fully mobilised to ensure the safety of the French people, as well as all those who visit France, and in particular tourists."
Kanye West left the stage at The Meadows festival mid-song on Sunday due to a “family emergency,” which was apparently the news that Kim Kardashian had been robbed in Paris.
West was about 50 minutes into his headlining set, in the middle of “Heartless,” when he stopped the song and said, “I’m sorry there’s been a family emergency,” and immediately rushed off the stage.
Kardashian had been tied up in the bathroom of her Paris hotel room by armed, masked men, police and her publicist said. Five attackers, wearing ski masks and clothes with police markings, stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry from the reality TV star around 3 a.m., police said.
A Paris police source earlier told Reuters that five attackers, wearing ski masks and clothes with police markings, struck around 3 a.m. (0100 GMT) inside the exclusive apartment block where Kardashian, 35, was staying while attending Paris Fashion Week.
Two of the men entered Kardashian's apartment after threatening the night guard with a hand gun. Kardashian, who has two young children with husband-rapper Kanye West, was not beaten but the robbers put a handgun against her temple before tying her up, the source said. iTELE television said she had been tied up with packing tape.
E! News, whose U.S. network broadcasts the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" television show, on Monday quoted a source close to Kardashian as saying she feared for her life.
"She begged for them to let her live and (said) she has babies at home... She thought they were for sure going to kill her," the unidentified source told E! News.
The robbers stole a box with 5-6 million euros' ($5.6-$6.7 million) worth of jewels and a ring worth about 4 million euros, the source said.
Kardashian was discovered "badly shaken but physically unharmed," according to her publicist, Ina Treciokas.
SOCIAL MEDIA DIVIDED
The Paris apartment block is a discreet building behind the city's Madeleine church, with several secret entrances, often frequented by movie and music stars who pay up to 15,000 euros a night.
The source said the attackers fled on bicycles. Police found the night guard in the staircase, his hand and feet bound.
Kardashian was in Paris with her mother Kris Jenner and her sisters Kendall Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian to attend the fashion week. The rest of the family stayed in a hotel.
The robbery set social media alight, with many users expressing disbelief at the latest headline-grabbing event in the life of a TV star who life is continually documented on screen and the internet.
"Looking forward to accompanying album and TV show detailing event," said Twitter user Jay.
Most comments, however, were supportive.
"Kim Kardashian is a mother, a wife, daughter and sister. Despite the fact that you don't like her, being held up at gun point is not funny," said one post by Alieuisha.
Paris has seen several armed robberies on high-end jewelry stores in recent months.
The armed robbery could add to worries about safety in Paris, hit by a series of attacks by Islamist militants last year.
Tourist numbers to what is traditionally the most visited city in the world, fell 6.4 percent in the first half of 2016 as many Asians and Americans stayed away.
"We worry about the image of Paris. This will be all over the news channels, imagine the negative publicity," Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, head of the conservative opposition in Paris, told Europe 1 radio.
With Glenn Gamboa