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The Kardashian clan had historical past with OJ Simpson lengthy earlier than turning into one of the well-known households in America.

Robert Kardashian, the patriarch and late ex-husband of Kris Jenner, was famously a part of the authorized crew that defended Simpson throughout his sensationalized 1994–95 murder trial.

Simpson was charged with the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her buddy Ron Goldman. Nevertheless, the previous soccer star was controversially acquitted due to his authorized “Dream Group,” drawing a wedge between Kardashian and Jenner.

After the legal professional’s demise in 2002 from esophageal most cancers, the Kardashian household did their finest to sever ties with the retired Buffalo Payments participant earlier than his demise on April 10, 2024.

Learn on for a breakdown of Simpson’s historical past with the “Holding Up With the Kardashians” crew.

OJ Simpson was finest associates with Robert Kardashian for a few years main as much as his notorious 1994–95 homicide trial. AFP/Getty Photos
The previous athlete died in April 2024. Jason Bean, Reno Gazette-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Robert and Simpson met in school

Robert, the son of rich Armenian immigrants, labored as a “glorified water boy” for the College of Southern California Trojans within the late Nineteen Sixties when Simpson was a star working again on the college, according to Slate.

Whereas the duo solely had a short encounter in school, they reunited about three years later after a mutual buddy invited them over for a sport of tennis and “immediately bonded,” per the outlet.

The pair grew to become quick associates and finally went into enterprise collectively, with Robert serving to the athlete delve into the leisure trade.

Regardless of not being associates in school, Robert and Simpson typically attended alumni occasions collectively and even opened up a store collectively on campus as funding companions, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Bringing their wives into the combo

Simpson was married to first spouse Marguerite Whitley when he and Kardashian grew to become associates. Michael Ochs Archives
A couple of years into their friendship, the legal professional met Kris Jenner. KrisJenner/Twitter

Simpson was nonetheless married to his first spouse, Marguerite Whitley, when Robert began courting Jenner in 1974. The couple married 4 years later, with the soccer participant performing as a member of their marriage ceremony get together.

Nevertheless, Whitley “appeared so sad” throughout her marriage to Simpson, based on Jenner, who was not stunned when the pair cut up within the late ’70s after Simpson began seeing Brown Simpson.

“I bear in mind considering how stunning Nicole was and the way younger and the way blond,” Jenner mentioned in an interview with Sheila Weller (by way of Slate). “Nicole introduced OJ lots of happiness — you could possibly see it. … She lit up his life. They had been golden collectively.”

Simpson and Brown Simpson, who didn’t tie the knot till 1985, and the Kardashians grew to become considerably inseparable because the years went on, vacationing collectively and steadily happening double dates.

The Kardashian children referred to as Simpson ‘Uncle OJ’

Simpson cut up from his first spouse within the late ’70s to pursue a romance with Nicole Brown Simpson. WireImage
Jenner and Brown Simpson had been quick associates, and the foursome grew to become inseparable. Bei/Shutterstock

As a consequence of their mother and father’ shut relationship with the Simpsons, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian and Rob Kardashian grew up viewing the couple as household.

“OJ was at all times our Uncle OJ, Nicole was my Auntie Nicole,” Khloé mentioned on “E! True Hollywood Story” in 2009, noting that she and her siblings had been too younger to know what was happening on the time of the trial.

Simpson and Brown Simpson shared daughter Sydney and son Justin, whom the Kardashians had been additionally shut with as children.

Nevertheless, the great occasions had been short-lived, as Robert and Jenner cut up in 1991. A 12 months later, she satisfied Brown Simpson to go away the athlete following years of abuse and infidelity.

Simpson’s trial divided the household

The Kardashian children additionally grew near the Simpsons, calling the soccer star “Uncle OJ” and his spouse “Auntie Nicole.” Kris Jenner/Twitter
The Simpsons shared two of their very own youngsters, and the 2 households steadily frolicked collectively. /

After Simpson was arrested for his ex-wife’s homicide, each Robert and Jenner felt the necessity to stand by their associates — placing them on opposing sides of the case.

“Proper earlier than the trial began, Robert sat down and wrote us a handwritten letter and simply mentioned, ‘Look, I do know you don’t agree with what goes down right here, however that is what I’ve to do for my buddy,’” Jenner recalled throughout a 2009 interview with Dr. Phil.

“He believed in what he was doing, and he was asking us for his help.”

The matriarch mentioned the trial and its aftermath had been “devastating” for his or her household. She felt like she “failed as a buddy” to Brown Simpson and tried her finest to indicate help by sitting along with her late buddy’s household within the courtroom as her ex-husband sat throughout the aisle.

Youngsters caught within the crosshairs

Nevertheless, Jenner and Kardashian cut up in 1991, and the previous went on to marry Caitlyn Jenner. /
Shortly after, Simpson and Brown Simpson additionally divorced. Nevertheless, the group remained associates till her demise in 1994. /

As a result of divide between their mother and father, the Kardashian children had been left not sure of which guardian to aspect with.

“You don’t actually know what to imagine or tips on how to understand it,” Khloé instructed E! “It’s unhappy to see your mother and father undergo a lot ache for attempting to be true associates.”

Nevertheless, a lot of the youngsters sided with their father, unwilling to imagine their “uncle” may have finished such a factor.

“I positively took my dad’s aspect,” Kim instructed Rolling Stone in 2015. “We simply at all times thought my dad was the neatest individual on the earth, and he actually believed in his buddy.”

Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife within the mid-’90s, dividing the Kardashian household. AFP by way of Getty Photos
Robert grew to become a part of the athlete’s authorized crew. AP

In reality, after Simpson was discovered not responsible, the youngsters’ stepfather, Caitlyn Jenner, needed to sit them down and clarify that “simply because he obtained a not responsible verdict doesn’t imply he didn’t do it.”

“I bear in mind the day the decision got here by means of, and [Kourtney, Kim and Khloé] got here in, and so they mentioned, ‘I instructed you he didn’t do it,’” the Olympian mentioned on “Dr. Phil.”

After that second, Caitlyn instructed the youngsters that she didn’t “need to hear [OJ’s] identify anymore” of their home.

The previous decathlete additionally beforehand claimed that Brown Simpson had as soon as instructed Kris she was afraid her ex-husband would possibly homicide her.

Honoring Brown Simpson

Jenner, in the meantime, believed Simpson was responsible and felt like she “failed” her buddy. datelinenbc/Fb
The previous working again was finally acquitted. AP

Kris was pregnant with daughter Kendall Jenner on the time of the trial and selected to honor her late buddy by giving the mannequin the center identify of Nicole.

“My center identify is after Nicole Brown Simpson as a result of that was my mother’s finest buddy,” Kendall confirmed on Snapchat in 2016. “And I’m honored to have this identify.”

Kendall was born precisely one month after Simpson was acquitted, although he was later discovered chargeable for Brown Simpson’s demise in a civil trial.

Emotional reunion

A lot of the Kardashian children, nonetheless, sided with their father. Hulu
Jenner was pregnant with daughter Kendall Jenner on the time of the trial and gave her the center identify of Nicole in honor of her late buddy. Ron Galella Assortment by way of Getty Photos

Though the Kardashian household distanced themselves from Simpson after the trial, Kim revealed in 2019 that she, Kourtney and Khloé bumped into their former household buddy in 2007.

“I believe the final time I noticed him was in Miami,” she mentioned in an episode of “Foodgod: OMFG,” including, “It was earlier than he had gone to jail [for robbery in Las Vegas], and Khloé and — I believe me, Kourtney and Khloé — had been in Miami in a membership, and we bumped into him within the VIP part. … All of us, I believe, all began crying. It was emotional.”

Nevertheless, the Skims founder famous that she was “nonetheless considerably pleasant” with the disgraced athlete’s youngsters and barely talks concerning the “tremendous traumatic” scenario out of respect for them.

“Their lives have to be extraordinarily laborious to actually undergo that,” she mentioned. “So, I at all times attempt to maintain to myself on that difficulty and never deliver something up for them.”

Paternity drama

Kim beforehand mentioned that she doesn’t like speaking concerning the case out of “respect” for Simpson and Brown Simpson’s children. Getty Photos
Nevertheless, Kris’ once-close relationship with Simpson led some followers to imagine the athlete was the daddy of her daughter Khloé Kardashian.

For years, web trolls accused Simpson of fathering Khloé after Kris admitted to having an affair throughout her ill-fated marriage to Robert in her memoir, “Kris Jenner and All Issues Kardashian.”

Though Kris by no means revealed the id of her lover, merely referring to him as a producer named Ryan, each she and Simpson have denied rumors that they had been ever romantically concerned.

“Bob Kardashian, he was like a brother to me. He was an important man,” the Tremendous Bowl champion mentioned in a video posted to X in 2019. “However I by no means — and I need to stress, by no means in any method, form or type — have I ever had any curiosity in Kris romantically or sexually, and I by no means obtained any indication that she had any curiosity in me.”

Each Khloé and Simpson denied the rumors. khloekardashian/Instagram
She even took a DNA check to show she is “58 % European and 41.6 % Center Japanese.” Robert was Armenian. AP

“Khloe, like all the ladies, I’m very happy with, similar to I do know Bob can be if he was right here,” he added. “However the easy reality of the matter is that she just isn’t mine.”

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Khloé additionally slammed the rumor in 2017, calling out the “a–holes” and “haters” that questioned her lineage.

In a “Holding Up With the Kardashians” episode a 12 months later, the fact TV star took a DNA check to show that she is “58 % European and 41.6 % Center Japanese” — seemingly proving she was not Simpson’s daughter.

‘SNL’ shocker

The Kardashians have finished their finest to distance themselves from Simpson and the trial for the final 20-plus years. Getty Photos
Regardless of that, Kim shockingly made a joke concerning the case in 2021 throughout her “SNL” monologue. Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Though the ladies have hardly ever shared their opinions concerning the case, Kim shocked “Saturday Night time Dwell” viewers in October 2021 by making a joke concerning the murders in her monologue.

“It’s due to [my father] that I met my first black individual. Need to take a stab at nighttime at who it was?” she quipped. “I do know it’s form of bizarre to recollect the primary black individual you met, however OJ does go away a mark — or a number of, or none in any respect. I nonetheless don’t know.”

Brown Simpson’s sister, Tanya Brown, later slammed the “distasteful” joke, telling TMZ she thought it was made in “poor style.”

In reality, Kim’s feedback made Tanya query whether or not the well-known household ever cared about her slain sister in any respect.

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