NBC News’ Hoda Kotb sat down with Alice Johnson and Kim Kardashian West together for their first joint interview on TODAY.
Kardashian West headed to Memphis to finally have a face-to-face meeting with Johnson, the black woman she lobbied for and got released from prison after a plea to President Donald Trump who commuted Johnson’s life sentence.
Johnson looked refreshed and was all smiles sitting next to the reality star and recalled the moment when Kardashian called and told her the great news- that she was finally getting released:
“I thought it was an attorney call when my case manager was waiting on me and it was but I didn’t know that Kim was coming in,” said.
“When she told me, I believe she said ‘You can go home.’”
“Are you ready to go home,” she recalled as Kardashian nodded with approval beside her.
Johnson then took a deep breath.
“When she said that, I went into full fledge, Pentecostal, holy dance,” she said, laughing.
“I started screaming and jumping. People were listening. I’m telling you. I was dancing, I was jumping, I was screaming. I was doing everything,” she admits empathically.
Kotb asked, “Kim what did it sound like from your end?’
Kardashian West responded:
“At first I thought she knew because the news was starting to break. And we had to get her on the phone. So, she was kind of quiet on the phone and I know her personality enough that she would have been screaming or something and I said, ‘Wait you don’t know? And she was like, know what?’ And I was like, ‘you’re going home.’ And she screams and cries and we all just cried on the phone.”
Johnson, who had already served 21 years of a life sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine, was being released after Kardashian took her cause all the way to the White House. It was Johnson’s first offense.
Kardashian West seemed to have developed a friendship with the 63-year-old grandmother and of course she made the most of her visit with Johnson to show her the ways of social media and gave her an impromptu Snapchat lesson.
“Alice has never used filters before so I’m showing her the ropes. Love you Alice!” the wife of Kanye West said in one of the videos, reports PEOPLE Magazine.
Kardashian West posted photos of the two, all hugs and smiles with heart emojis floating above their heads. It seems only right, especially since it was social media where Kardashian West first got word about Johnson’s case.
“I love this woman,” the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality star said after sharing a hug with Johnson, who responded, “I love this lady.”
“I mean I already knew just by talking to you on the phone and just seeing you in videos, but I mean you are everything and more than I ever thought,” Kardashian West said.
Johnson’s Road to Freedom
During an interview with Mic.com, Kardashian West revealed how Johnson’s story touched her when she learned about her plight on Twitter.
“It’s funny because people will just hear something and not understand, ‘What does Kim have to do with prison reform?’ Seven months ago I saw a story on Twitter and it was about a great-grandmother that just tugged at my heart and it was just that simple connection.
“If it takes me to go and talk to the highest person in power, the only person that can make this happen, which is President Trump, then I will definitely do that.”
Kardashian West took to Twitter to express her excitement about President Trump commuting the sentence of Johnson, who had already served 21 years of a life sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine. It was Johnson’s first offense.
“Best news ever!” Kardashian West tweeted with praying hands emojis in the wake of the pardon news.
She continued in a second tweet, “So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.”
Johnson first shared her gratefulness on Good Morning America.
“When Kim told me that I was being released, I started jumping and screaming and crying, and everyone else was crying,” Johnson said.
“It was wonderful. I’m so glad that she was the one who was able to deliver the news to me. It was a perfect ending.”
Source: The Grio (Kia Morgan Smith)
Photo Credit: US Weekly
Photo Credit: Monroe Free Press