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‘I Just Didn’t Want to Give Up.’ Kim Kardashian West Meets the Woman She Helped Get Pardoned

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Kim Kardashian West and Alice Marie Johnson met in person for the first time since President Trump commuted Johnson’s lengthy prison sentence.

The unlikely duo discussed their first face-to-face meeting Thursday on the TODAY show while discussing how West learned of Johnson’s case and how this experience has changed both of their lives.

“It became this mission that I just didn’t want to give up,” West said.

West first learned of Johnson’s case late last year and reached out to her own attorney to see what they could do for the 63-year-old woman, who was serving a life sentence for charges related to cocaine possession. The case made it to the White House after West called Ivanka Trump to have a “conversation about women and wanting to help each other,” she said. In May, West visited the White House to meet with President Trump in the Oval Office. Trump, she said, felt pardoning Johnson was the right thing to do.

And on June 6, Trump commuted her sentence and she was released from prison after serving 21 years of the life sentence.

Johnson, who did not know who West was while in prison, said simply thanking the reality TV star was not enough.

“I have to walk it out,” she said. “I have to live it out for her, for my family.”

She said she is now focused on the future — and wants to bring attention to other people who were in similar situations to her.

“I plan on continuing to magnify this issue,” she said. “My life is completely intertwined forever with those who were left behind.”

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com