After meeting with Kim Kardashian West at the White House, President Donald Trump has granted the reality TV star’s plea for clemency for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who was sent to prison for a nonviolent drug offense, The Washington Post reported.
Johnson has spent more than 20 years in prison after she was given a life sentence for her first drug offense and money laundering charges. Johnson wrote about her life before and after her conviction in an article for CNN, discussing how her life spiraled out of control after she divorced in 1989, followed by the death of her son in a motorcycle accident and the loss of her job due to gambling addiction. Since entering prison, she has tried to reform her life, becoming an ordained minister.
Kardashian West, who has become an advocate for criminal justice and prison reform, discovered Johnson’s story last year and brought it up during her meeting with the president in the Oval Office last week. The meeting came after months of talks between Kardashian West and the president’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
BEST NEWS EVER!!!! ???????????????????????? https://t.co/JUbpbE1Bk0
– Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
But according to The Washington Post, not everyone in the Trump Administration was onboard with helping out Johnson. While Kushner joined Kardashian West in asking Trump to grant clemency, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is reported to have reviewed Johnson’s record and felt she did not deserve to be pardoned.
This isn’t the first time Trump has granted a pardon after being asked to by a celebrity. Last month, he pardoned late boxer Jack Johnson after “Rocky” star Sylvester Stallone appealed to him. Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion in history, was convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 for taking his white girlfriend across state lines for “immoral purposes.”
Johnson, meanwhile, sent a letter to Kardashian West after her meeting with Trump thanking her for taking up her cause.
“Ms. Kardashian, you are quite literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family,” she wrote. “I was drowning and you have thrown me a life jacket, and given me hope that this life jacket I’m serving may one day be taken off.”