Los Angeles, June 11 – Keeping up with the Kardashian connect in the controversial O.J. Simpson murder trial over the June 12, 1994 killing of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, can be more intriguing than the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian sisters.
Much before Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and their ‘momager’ Kris hogged paparazzi attention, one Kardashian was already in the spotlight across the US — Robert.
A lawyer and businessman, Robert came into prominence as the defence attorney of his friend Orenthal James Simpson, a former American footballer who went on trial in 1995, and was acquitted of the murders of Nicole and her friend who were stabbed to death.
Robert, in fact, as per US media reports, had renewed his law license for the case.
He was also a saviour of sorts for Simpson after Nicole and her friend were found murdered outside her house 25 years ago. Simpson reportedly stayed at Robert’s house to avoid the media and it was Robert who read out a letter on behalf of Simpson to the media when the former athlete failed to turn himself in.
Robert was also, as per US media reports, the one who carried a Louis Vuitton bag after Simpson’s return from Chicago on June 13, 1994. Prosecutors had reportedly suspected it might have contained proof against Simpson.
Nicole, who wed Simpson in 1985 — a marriage that lasted 7 years — was best friends with whom the world now knows as Kris Jenner.
Kris was Robert’s wife from 1978, and they divorced in 1991. Together, they had four children — daughters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney and son Rob, who are all now famous reality television stars, entrepreneurs and fashion icons.
As a couple, they were close to the Simpsons.
After their split, Kris married Bruce Jenner (a former Olympian who later underwent reassignment surgery and became Caitlyn Jenner) in 1991, and they have two children — Kendall and Kylie.
It was in her best friend’s honour that Kris named Kendall as Kendall Nicole Jenner.
Kendall had spoken about it in a Snapchat that emerged in news reports a few years ago.
“Kendall, what’s your middle name and who are you named after?” Kylie asked her.
She replied: “My middle name is after Nicole Brown Simpson ’cause that was my mom’s best friend… And I’m honoured to have this name.”
Simpson’s proximity with the Kardashian family was also detailed in a 10-episode series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”, which features “Friends” star David Schwimmer as Robert. Kris is shown privy to the domestic violence that Nicole had faced.
In the third episode of the series, Robert even refers to Simpson as the children’s “Uncle Juice”, and defends him by calling him a “good man”, while Kim’s character references Simpson, saying “I mean, he is my Godfather”.
Robert died in 2003, years before his family Kris and his children shot to fame via “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”.
Simpson continued to run-in to legal hassles year after year, and was back in court on kidnapping and armed robbery charges, which led him to spend nearly a decade behind the bars.
Now it has been two years since Simpson has been out of jail, and latest reports say he is living a relatively quiet life in Las Vegas.