Now, Kardashian has recruited the 64-year-old as a model for her latest line of shapewear. Kardashian helped free Johnson after 21 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense.
According to people.com: “Kardashian West, 38, has maintained a special relationship with the 64-year-old great-grandmother, welcoming Johnson’s family over for a home cooked meal in Calabasas and even writing the foreward to Johnson’s memoir, After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom.
"Now, Kardashian West has recruited Johnson to help her with another exciting project: the launch of her inclusive solution-focused shapewear brand, SKIMS Solutionwear.”
Kardashian West asked Johnson to star in a moving video as she modeled the black sculpting bodysuit.
On August 29, the video featuring Johnson popped up on the reality star’s Instagram feed hawking her new shapewear line.
“Look at the most amazing model ever @AliceMarieFree Modeling for @skims launching September 10!” @KimKardashian wrote.
She kicked off a campaign that will feature 25 other real women talking about how SKIMS enables them to feel their best.
In the ad, Johnson spoke about how Kardashian helped advocate for her release from prison.
Johnson had served more than two decades of a life sentence plus 25 years without the possibility of parole related to drug charges and money laundering when Kardashian met with President Trump and Jared Kushner in a bid to convince them to release Johnson.
The following week, Johnson’s sentence was commuted by the President.
Johnson has called her release a “miracle” and said God touched Kardashian to help her.
“She went to war for me, to fight for my freedom. That’s why I call her my war angel, because nothing stood between her and my freedom,” the Memphis, Tennessee, native said of Kardashian in the advertisement.
Initially the ad featuring the freed prisoner received backlash on Twitter and bad press.
Not everyone was happy about it.
An article on vice.com said: “Now, Kardashian seems to be using Johnson both to advertise her clothes as well as for damage control.”
The article added that the ad was: “… disturbing to watch. In the video, Johnson essentially praises Kardashian as her savior, using dramatic language with echoes of abolition.”
However, many came out in support appreciating Kim Kardashian for featuring a previously incarcerated person and taking a step towards ending the stigma against people who have been imprisoned.
Johnson too, took to Twitter to defend Kardashian and trash the articles that claimed that Kardashian West was using Johnson for her own financial gain.
@AliceMarieFree tweeted on Friday: “How insulting to assume I can’t think for myself. I was very honoured to be a part of Kim’s shapewear launch. For the record @Vice, I’ve always referred to Kim as my war angel!!”
Many are excited about Johnson appearing in the ad. From those advocating body positivity to inclusivity and human rights activists, many posted congratulatory messages.