Paul Walker's Us Weekly Cover Story

The new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now, looks back on the Fast & the Furious star, Paul Walker’s life and his sudden untimely passing. On November 30, Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, stepped away from Walker’s own charity auto show to take one of the cars – a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT – for a quick spin. “They just wanted to go for a ride,” says a Walker friend. Within minutes, everything had changed. “We could see and smell smoke,” says one witness. The Porsche, engulfed in flames had crashed into a tree. Walker and Rodas were both pronounced dead at the scene. “He’s the nicest guy I’ve known,” his stand-in Shayne Tingle, tells Us. “He lived his life with compassion and kindness. It was so contagious that it made you want to be a better person,” says Tingle. Another heartbreaking truth: Walker’s life came to an end just as his relationship with Meadow, his 15-year-old daughter, was blossoming. His daughter lived in Hawaii with her mother for most of her life, but moved into Walker’s Santa Barbara home in 2012. Two weeks before his death, Us Weekly had the chance to interview Walker about his upcoming drama, Hours. He gleefully gushed to Us, “She wants a relationship with her pops!” While there is little sense to be made of the tragedy, some friends are taking comfort in knowing Walker’s last moments were happy ones. “His true loves,” says pal Bill Townsend, “were cars, his charity and family.”

Also in this week’s issue, move over Will and Kate! Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are planning over-the-top nuptials at France’s Palace of Versailles. Though the reality star has said she wanted a small wedding, a confidant tells Us, “Kanye has never been married and wants a big one.” Adds a pal of the rapper “It will be over-the-top crazy.” Money is no object for the duo of two years. “They are not working with a budget,” says an insider. And fans won’t miss the fun. “Unless Kanye objects,” says an E! source, “Kim would never get married without it being a TV event.”

Flirty texts! Secret phone calls! Three months after breaking his engagement to Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth is ready to reconcile. “He pushed to get in touch,” says a source. Since then the dup have secretly met up in L.A. and “are talking like they did when they were together,” says an insider. He even comforted her when she lost treasured jewelry during a November 22 break-in at her home. But Cyrus isn’t sure she’s ready to give their tumultuous four-year romance another swing. “She’s confused about how she feels,” says the insider. Hemsworth doesn’t need to mull it over. Says the source, “He’s telling friends he misses her.”