The Kardashians reality show revealed that Khloé Kardashian rejected a proposal from her on-off ex Tristan Thompson in December 2020. The two broke up for good when Kardashian learned he cheated on her and fathered a child with personal trainer Maralee Nichols. That baby was born in December 2021, at the same time a surrogate was secretly carrying Kardashian and Thompson’s own second child, who was born this summer.
Now, Buzzfeed and Entertainment Tonight are reporting that Thompson proposed a second time in secret…and Kardashian accepted. They were privately engaged for months—including when Thompson cheated on Kardashian with Nichols and fathered their child. Here, all the reveals that came out today about the paternity scandal and their relationship status before and during it.
Thompson proposed to Kardashian a second time in secret and she accepted.
A source told Entertainment Tonight that Kardashian accepted Thompson’s second proposal in February 2021. Nichols and Thompson’s affair happened that March, which resulted in her pregnancy with their son.
Multiple sources with “insider knowledge” additionally told Buzzfeed that actually, Thompson first proposed in December 2019, not 2020. Kardashian didn’t accept the proposal then. When he popped the question a second time in February 2021, she did say yes, and the two were engaged until the paternity scandal broke in December.
Why Kardashian turned down Thompson’s first proposal
Kardashian, in the series, explained why she turned down Thompson the first time. Her sister Kim revealed that Kardashian chose to hide the news of the first proposal from the family initially.
“The fact that he proposed and you never told us,” Kim Kardashian said to Khloé Kardashian, via People. “And I asked him months later … the night after I thought it happened [Valentine’s Day 2021] and he’s like, ‘Oh, I did it months ago, she didn’t tell you guys?’”
Kardashian explained in a confessional why she turned down Thompson: “I said, ‘I need to make sure this is a totally different relationship because I wanna be proud to say I’m engaged to anyone.’ And that’s why I said, ‘I’m not comfortable accepting this right now because I’m not excited to tell my family,’ and as hurtful as that probably was for him to hear, it was the truth. I’m not ever gonna accept something or give someone false hope, and I said that to him.”
Kardashian has traumatic brain damage seemingly from Thompson’s cheating scandals.
The series also revealed that Kardashian suffered brain damage seemingly in part because of Thompson’s cheating scandals, with footage airing of Kardashian having a scan done, and Dr. Daniel Amen explaining how her subtle changes in brain patterns were indicative of past trauma she faced, according to TMZ. Thompson had his first cheating scandal in 2018 while Kardashian was heavily pregnant with the then-couple’s first child, their now-4-year-old daughter True Thompson.
Kardashian’s sisters worried about her weight loss after the paternity scandal.
Footage also aired of Kardashian’s sisters worrying about her weight loss because of the paternity scandal. Kim Kardashian told her in the show, via E!, “You look very skinny. I will say that Kendall and Kylie, not that I’m trying to out them, but they did text me and say that they were a little concerned for you, because you’re really skinny.”
Kardashian admitted she was struggling with Thompson’s paternity scandal in a confessional. “The hardest part about it all is training yourself to unlove someone,” she said. “This was my life for six years. And we weren’t just a couple—we genuinely were best friends. He was my workout buddy. We did all these things together. And so learning how to undo all those things, that takes time. Just because someone does you dirty doesn’t mean you fall out of love with them instantly.”
Kardashian being secretly engaged to Thompson adds a layer of intensity to everything the show depicted. Kardashian has not confirmed the engagement herself, although she did post Instagram photos around that time depicting her wearing a massive diamond ring, like this shot from April 2021.
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.