Kim Kardashian's soon-to-be ex-husband, Kris Humphries, recently stripped down for a racy photo spread in WestEast magazine -- a move Team Kardashian calls desperate.
“The pictures are ridiculous and just go to show how far Kris is willing to go to remain in the public spotlight,” a friend of Kim’s tells me. “I haven’t spoken with Kim about them, but you know she will get a good laugh when she sees them.”
It is unclear why Kris decided to pose for steamy pictures at New York's Night Hotel, but the photo shoot's stylist thinks it has something to do with flipping the media script, which has so far portrayed the Nets player as the villain in the breakup.
“He’s a dude, he’s in great shape and very attractive and wanted to show that off," Derek Warburton tells me. "He was getting pulverized week after week on the cover of every magazine, and he’s cool. I wanted people to see that. This has blown up. Everyone is talking about Kris now.”
However, Kris' rep tells Hollywoodlife.com that the photos had nothing to do with getting back at Kardashian: "The allegations that he’s seeking revenge with this photo shoot are false and we remain adamant that personal issues will be handled by his legal team and not in the media.”
Onlookers are divided over whether the pictures will improve public perception of Humphries.
"The first-ever fashion shoot pictures of Kris Humphries are frankly ridiculous,” Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR tells me. “Humphries looks absurd and I fail to understand why he’d pose for such pictures. Seems Humphries wants his 10 minutes of fame to continue –- and while he’ll forever be known as the Kardashian ex, this shoot will keep him [in] mind. While Humphries is clearly good-looking and in great shape, I fail to understand how he may make money from this –- or who exactly from his fan demographic this photo shoot would appeal to.”
Cooper Lawrence, author of "The Cult of Celebrity," said he thinks this is the first step for Humphries to regain control of his image.
“He was completely emasculated by Kim and her family," Lawrence tells me. "It’s really important for him to take back some of his image, some of his manhood, some of his feeling like a sexy, desirable human being. I think she really duped him and hurt him. He seems to be as naïve as everyone says and I think this is his look at the moment to take back some of his self worth."
MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 27: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries attend the Amber Fashion Show held at the Meridien Beach Plaza on May 27, 2011 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian are seen shopping at Petco on June 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kim Kardashian on the set of her new fragrance commercial on July 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Kim Kardashian celebrates her bachelorette party at TAO Nightclub at the Venetian on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (WireImage)
Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian attend Kim Kardashian's bachelorette dinner at TAO Bistro at the Venetian on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 07: (L-R) TV personalities Lamar Jr., Lamar Odom, daughter Destiny, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian arrive at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards held at the Gibson Amphitheatre on August 7, 2011 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries, and Brody Jenner attend the Abbey Dawn by Avril Lavigne Spring 2012 fashion show during Style360 at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
NBA player Kris Humphries (L) and TV personality Kim Kardashian attend a welcome party for newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries hosted by Colin Cowie and Jason Binn at Capitale on August 31, 2011 in New York City.
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: Kim Kardashian attends Heidi Klum's 2010 Halloween Party at Lavo on October 31, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Event honoree, Kim Kardashian speaks on stage at the 2011 Game Changers Awards at Skylight SOHO on October 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian are seen on location for 'Kourtney and Kim Take New York' aboard a Gray Line New York bus on the streets of Manhattan on November 15, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Kim Kardashian and Gabriel Aubry attend a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: (L-R) Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian promote their new book 'Kardashian Konfidential' at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on November 30, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Kim Kardashian and NJ Nets player Kris Humphries leave Barneys on January 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Kim Kardashian sends 'I Love You' hand signals to NJ Nets player Kris Humphries during the Utah Jazz vs New Jersey Nets game at the Prudential Center on January 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: TV personality Kim Kardashian arrives at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 14: Kim Kardashian hosts Valentine's Day at Marquee nightclub at the Cosmopolitan on February 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02: (L-R) TV personalities Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian arrive at Nickelodeon's 24th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at Galen Center on April 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 11: Kim Kardashian hosts the launch of Midori Melon Liqueur trunk shows at Trousdale on May 10, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)