irina shayk
Irina Shayk is seen outside Tod’s on Day 3 Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20 on February 22, 2019 in Milan, Italy. Credit: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images.

Just last month, Kanye West and Irina Shayk were photographed together arriving home in the US after taking a seemingly romantic trip to France for West’s birthday. The images were taken as confirmation that the rapper-cum-fashion designer and former Victoria’s Secret Angel were dating, after weeks of rumors fuelled by the likes of the internet’s real-life Gossip Girl, @DeuxMoi. 

At the time, neither West nor Shayk confirmed the romance, but sources told Page Six they’d been “quietly dating for several weeks”, following West’s divorce from Kim Kardashian, and that the romance was “casual.” Furthermore, sources told TMZ that they were “100% romantically together,” and Us Weekly’s insider added, “Irina and Kanye have been spending time together and getting to know one another. He’s always thought she was beautiful and they’re both looking forward to seeing where this goes.”

However, following all the headlines, Shayk is apparently keen to distance herself from the drama—and from anything more than friendship with West. According to sources, this week, West invited Shayk to Paris for a fashion week couture show with him, but she declined the trip because she doesn’t want to give the impression, privately or publicly, that they are an item. 

“[Shayk’ likes [West] as a friend, but doesn’t want a relationship with him,” a source told Page Six. “She doesn’t want the association that they are dating, which is what would have run in the press if she showed up [in Paris with him]. They added, “It would have been another month of news saying that they are dating.”

kanye west
Kanye West seen leaving Michiko Sushino restaurant with his daughter North West in Queen’s Park on October 10, 2020 in London, England. Credit: Neil Mockford/GC Images.

West and Shayk were first spotted in Provence, France, in June to celebrate his 44th birthday, before being photographed again disembarking from a jet in the States after returning from the trip. Though it certainly looked like they were dating, Page Six’s source says Shayk actually was at the party as a friend, adding, “there were 50 other people there.”

In reality, Shayk—who lives in New York City with the four-year-old daughter she shares with Bradley Cooper—isn’t, and doesn’t want to date anyone. “She doesn’t want to be linked with anyone right now,” says the source. “She is happy being single.”

When the images were published in June, fans were quick to look to the pair’s respective famous exes for a reaction. Shayk was, after all, the first person West had been linked to since announcing his separation from Kim Kardashian in February, and the headlines were also the first time Shayk had been connected to a man romantically since her split from Bradley Cooper in 2019.

But despite how fresh her divorce is, Kardashian apparently doesn’t care who West dates. “Kim has heard the rumors about Kanye and Irina Shayk and she doesn’t mind at all. If it doesn’t impact her kids, then she doesn’t mind if Kanye dates,” a source told E! News at the time. Of course, Kardashian is busy batting away CEOs, billionaires and sports stars all vying for her attention while running an empire, raising four children and fashionably eating pasta in Rome. West might have to try a little harder to get a reaction from this one.