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Will Kim Kardashian's divorce hurt the family business?

November 14, 2011 |  1:07 pm

Kim kardashian kris humphries
When Kim Kardashian announced that she was splitting from Kris Humphries last week, just 72 days after their wedding, conspiracy theories swirled and fans wondered, Was the whole romance a publicity ploy? As Kristen Wiig said in a "Saturday Night Live" skit about the controversy, in the persona of Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner: "I know a lot of people think Kim got married just to earn over $17 million from the wedding, but that's not true. She also got married for attention."

Analysts agree it's too soon to tell whether the controversy will have any lasting effect on the family business, which includes not just the TV franchise (the second season of "Kourtney and Kim" premieres on E! Nov. 27 and will provide a glimpse of Kim's unraveling marriage) but also boutiques, books, fragrances, jewelry, self-tanner, candles and the Kardashian Kollection of apparel, shoes and accessories for Sears.

"It's probably good publicity," said Paul Swinand, an equities analyst with Morningstar who covers Sears. "Since Sears' problem is that it's a little dowdy and a little old, some news that's a little outlandish is probably a good thing."

Jo Piazza, author of "Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money," thinks fans feel betrayed: "The phrase I've been using is that we've seen the wizard," Piazza said. "The curtains are parted, the fairy dust is wearing off and we know how the machine works now."

Read more in today's Calendar feature.


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Photo: Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian on Aug. 31. Photo credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press.