It's no secret that Kim Kardashian West is photographed pretty much constantly. In fact, the entire Kardashian-Jenner family's lives have been documented on camera for their reality show for years and years, and the fact that they're all selfie queens and social media junkies just adds to that. The world knows who they're with and what they're doing pretty much all the time.
That's why you may be curious about Jonathan Cheban, Kim K's long-time sidekick, and BFF. You'll see him time and time again in paparazzi shots when Kim is out running errands or just enjoying herself, and he's also popped up on the show countless times throughout the seasons. However, he didn't just find Kim in an attempt to get on television and get famous — they've been friends for over a decade, and will likely be friends for life. We can only imagine how hard it must be to trust someone when any information about you is at a premium, as it is for the Kardashians, so Kim probably loves having someone she can count on.
So, who exactly is Jonathan Cheban, and what is he all about? We found out. Here are 15 things you may not know about Kim Kardashian's BFF Jonathan Cheban.
15 He's Not A California Native — He's Actually From Jersey
The Kardashian-Jenner family is basically as stereotypically Los Angeles as you can get, and based on Cheban's appearance and mannerisms, we kind of assumed he was a born and raised Angeleno as well. However, it turns out he hails from the East coast — Jersey, to be exact. Cheban was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey, to a fairly well-off family. He first tried to make it in New York City in the PR world, and now we assume he splits his time between NYC and L.A., which is a pretty amazing way to live. Now, the question is, has he ever fist pumped at the club like a true Jersey boy, or does he leave that to the pros on other reality shows? Perhaps he's tried to erase his inner Jersey boy over the years.
14 Diddy Gave Him His First Big Break
Okay, we have to admit — we kind of assumed Cheban was the male equivalent of a socialite, someone who grew up with money and didn't really have a job besides lunching with Kim. However, it turns out he's a fairly savvy businessman, as his big break indicates. Cheban was working in New York at a PR firm when Diddy wanted to hire the firm to help throw his 29th birthday party. The firm Cheban was working for didn't want to do it, but Cheban knew it would be an opportunity to really shine, so he stepped up and did the job on his own. The rest, as they say, is history — he started up his own firm, and now he's a serial entrepreneur. Plus, he probably throws a mean party!
13 He Appeared On Millionaire Matchmaker — Looking For A Woman
There's been a lot of speculation over the years about Cheban's preferences over the years as to whether he likes women or men, and he's always been a little evasive about the matter. However, when he decided to go on the reality television show Millionaire Matchmaker to try to find love, he told Patti that he was looking for a woman. Specifically, a woman with Kim K's curves and a face like Jennifer Aniston (so, what every guy out there is looking for, basically!). That match didn't end up turning into anything more serious, which made many people think he must love guys and just be unwilling to admit it, but hey — whatever floats his boat. Perhaps he just enjoys playing the field and doesn't want to limit himself to anyone.
12 He Had His Own Short-Lived Reality Show, The Spin Crowd
You've seen Cheban on countless episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but did you know that he actually had his own reality show for all of a season? Kim K, the reality show pro, actually produced the show, entitled The Spin Crowd. It offered a peek into the world of public relations and media, highlighting Cheban, and unfortunately was canceled after the first season because, well, people just didn't care that much. You can't always strike gold the way the Kardashians did when people fell in love with watching their crazy family week after week — perhaps Cheban will try his hand at another reality show now that he's a bit more established, and it might be more of a success. He's got his hand in countless entrepreneurial ventures now, so it wouldn't have to be limited to the PR world.
11 He's Involved In The Restaurant Industry
Anyone who follows Cheban on social media knows that he's a major foodie, and that means when he's thinking of businesses to take on, the restaurant industry is definitely at the front of his mind. He's apparently got two sushi restaurants, Sushi MiKasa and Sushi Couture, and is opening a few Burger Bandit spots. He's certainly not going to be the next superstar chef with a culinary empire, but hey — we have to give the man props for diversifying and taking on ventures in all aspects of business. Plus, his bestie Kim K is basically the best promotional tool ever — one shot of her eating something from one of his restaurants and Kardashian fans would probably flock to the spot in droves, eager to eat exactly what Kim K. ate.
10 He Owns A Gossip Site
We told you he had his hand in countless entrepreneurial ventures! In addition to all the other projects he has on the go, he's also the owner of a website called The Dishh, which is all about pop culture current events — a.k.a. gossip. In fact, even the name reflects it — the extra 'h' at the end of the name is supposed to convey a 'shh' of secrecy. Although, Cheban claims it's certainly not a gossip site, it's all about celebrity news, saying that "I don't give any gossip, everything personal stays personal... we curate the staff that is going to be amazing mixed in with the hottest places to go. That's what people want to know; they want fast information and they trust us." It's probably tough to resist posting top secret Kardashian info though!
9 He's Looking To Legally Change His Name To Foodgōd
Yes, we're completely serious. Apparently, Cheban has worked hard over the years to build a 'Foodgōd' brand on social media and a website, and people are beginning to know the name well. Apparently, a rep for Cheban said that "people are constantly screaming Foodgōd as he walks down the street and showing up to restaurants while he is there, following his eating adventures...it has become cult-like." Uh... okay. We have to admit, when we think celebrity foodies, we don't immediately think of Cheban, but hey — it sounds like he's got his fair share of fans. We're not sure we'd go so far as to change your legal name, but we suppose he's entitled to do whatever he wants to do. Perhaps his Foodgōd empire will just continue to grow and grow.
8 He's Consulting On A Curriculum For A School For Rich Kids (Yes, Seriously)
We're not sure who thought this was a good idea, but apparently, someone did — there's allegedly a school opening in New York City that's designed solely to teach wealthy kids how to be rich. Yes, we're serious. Cheban is consulting with the school and helping to develop their pop culture curriculum, and it sounds exactly like you might imagine. He spilled the details to New You, saying that "wealthy kids from all over the world will learn about private aviation, social media, quality of diamonds, types of caviar, mixed in with economics and other fundamental undergrad and grad classes." I mean, how on earth could they possibly enter the world of high society without knowing the different types of caviar, right? Thank goodness there's a curriculum that can help them with all that.
7 He's Had Several Less Than Glamorous Jobs, Including A Blimpie's Delivery Boy
Jonathan Cheban has something in common with his bestie Kim Kardashian — before they became well-known, they both worked kind of regular jobs for a while. Kim Kardashian, for those who don't remember, was a closet organizer to the stars for a while and made a living sorting through Paris Hilton's wardrobe. Cheban likewise got his start with less than glamorous jobs, doing things like working at a dry cleaner's and as a delivery boy for Blimpie's. We don't know quite enough about his upbringing — perhaps his family wasn't wealthy enough that he could afford to just not work, or perhaps they held the opinion that a young man should learn the importance of earning his own money. Either way, he hasn't always lived the glamorous life he seems to live now.
6 He Doesn't Cook — Ever
Jonathan Cheban may be a huge foodie who's all about the latest culinary trends, but one thing is for sure — you'll never find him whipping up a recipe in his own kitchen. Apparently, he loves to dine out and experience all the culinary world has to offer, but he doesn't actually know how to cook himself — at all. He even told a story of getting a pizza sent from Chicago and having to ask another pizzeria in Brooklyn to heat it up for him because, well, he apparently had no idea how one would do that in their own oven. Props to him for supporting restaurants around the city, but we have to wonder how healthy eating out every single day is — perhaps he should learn to make a few staples.
5 He Has A Self-Portrait On The Wall Of His Apartment
Okay, we're beginning to understand why Jonathan Cheban and Kim Kardashian are besties — they certainly have a lot in common, including their love for their own appearance. Kim K is known as the queen of selfies and even released a book entirely dedicated to pictures of herself. Cheban took a page out of her book and purchased a custom self-portrait by artist Kfir Moyal to hang in his home. That's right — he wakes up and walks through his apartment and checks out a picture of his own face. It seems a little bit narcissistic, but hey — if it makes him happy, we suppose it's not hurting anyone. In fact, we're surprised that Kim doesn't have a house filled with custom self-portraits to go along with the endless selfies on her phone.
4 He Owns A Meal Delivery Service, Prepped
Okay, seriously — Cheban is way more into food than we ever would have guessed. One of his ventures into the culinary world is a meal delivery service called Prepped. And no, we're not talking about the types of services where boxes of perfectly portioned ingredients are mailed to your door so that you can just assemble — that would be a bit ironic coming from a man who doesn't cook. With his company, you can order actual meals and just have them delivered to your door on a regular basis so that you never have to cook. It's just as easy as take-out but likely a whole lot healthier. He truly is a man of many talents — now, the question is, are the meals actually tasty? Someone in the tri-state area will have to find out!
3 He Told Kim To Stop Smiling In Public (So Not Chic)
If you look back at photos of Kim Kardashian from a decade or so ago, she looks like an entirely different person. And yes, a lot of it is just styling — she's certainly learned how to do her makeup flawlessly for the camera over the years, and her wardrobe is way more luxe than it was then. However, the other big difference is that she's rarely spotted smiling in more current pictures — and that's by design. Apparently, Cheban was the one who told Kim to channel her inner Victoria Beckham for the paparazzi and put on a pout and pair of sunnies. It definitely worked — she looks amazing in just about any paparazzi photo taken of her, which is a tough thing to do, although you'll still see the rare smile from time to time.
2 He Met Kim Through Nicole Richie
As if you couldn't tell from the major #throwbackthursday picture above, Kim Kardashian and Nicole Richie have been friends for a very, very long time — since their awkward teenage years. And that's exactly how Cheban ended up meeting his current bestie for the first time. He ended up sitting next to Kim at a party he was invited to, the two started chatting, and the rest is history. He made a few appearances on Keeping Up With The Kardashians as a friend of the Kardashian sisters, and now he's basically glued to Kim's side. It just goes to show that you never know when you'll meet your future bestie, so don't turn down those party invites! You may just be seated next to someone who has a big impact on your life.
1 He Demanded 100,000 British Pounds A Day To Appear On Celebrity Big Brother
If you thought Kim Kardashian was a diva, just wait until you hear the story of Cheban's Celebrity Big Brother appearance. Apparently, he was supposed to enter the house for two days in order to defend his bestie because her former flame Ray J was also a contestant in the house at the time. However, just defending his BFF's honor wasn't quite enough incentive for Cheban. He wanted 100,000 British pounds a day — a huge sum of money — as well as his own private bedroom and meals that were Michelin star quality. And the worst part is, he was initially offered a sum of 100,000 pounds for his two-day stay — not a shabby amount for 48 hours of work — but he increased his demand after hearing what Ray J was being paid. Um, talk about a diva!
Sources: celebritytoob.com, nickiswift.com, refinery29.com