Robert and O.J. were best friends before his trial, and their families were so close that they vacationed together. Then, Robert was part of O.J.'s "dream team" in his 1994 trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, despite his family and friends' requests for him not to stay out of the drama.
Oppenheimer detailed how his brother, Thomas Kardashian, urged him not to become involved and his close confidant Larry Kraines echoed his feelings.
Robert's parents also wanted him to stay out of the drama! "When he offered to help O.J., they were mortified because the important values they had instilled in Robert were to stay under the radar and live his life quietly and with dignity and respect," his friend Joni Migdal said.
Robert was prompted to write a letter to his family to apologize for his involvement before the trial started, and urged his children not to let his role tear their family apart. But sadly, his friends claimed his worst fears came true anyway.
Oppenheimer wrote: "When his firstborn, Kourtney, applied to the University of Arizona, the ultimate party and stoner school, from where she earned a degree in theater arts and hung out with another L.A. celebrity brat, Nicole Richie, her application essay was entitled, 'My Parents Were on the Opposite Sides of the O.J. Simpson Case,' their depressed father told Joni Migdal."
"When his second-born, Kim, got married in 2000 to Damon Dash, cofounder of Roc-A-Fella Records – the first of her three African American husbands – she was still so angry at her father over his defense of O.J. that she kept the marriage a secret from him until Kourtney revealed all to their father," he added.
"In part, Tom Kardashian blamed his brother's participation in the O.J. trial and all that went with it as the reason for why he 'died prematurely,'" he continued, noting that "Robert's life would become a living hell over the next seven years and eleven months, culminating in his death from esophageal cancer just three days before the eighth anniversary of Simpson's acquittal."
Khloe Kardashian admitted on Kocktails With Khloe that she believed O.J.'s trial led to her father's death as well, and it caused her family to experience racism. She later chose to eat a fish eye on The Late Late Show with James Corden instead of answering if she believed that O.J. was guilty.
Robert also became depressed after the trial, as he "had lost all faith in his friend's innocence, felt betrayed, and was devastated" by the time the trial ended. "That whole loving Kardashian-Simpson brotherhood would end," Oppenheimer noted.
"Kardashian thought he would exit the case as a national hero, as the ultimate loyal friend," the book detailed. "Instead, he would be demonized as much as the acquitted defendant whom he had stood by. There would be anonymous midnight calls, threatening his life and the lives of his children, and he would be virtually blacklisted in the Beverly Hills society in which he ran."
Robert also struggled to find work after O.J.'s acquittal.
Are you surprised that O.J.'s murder trial divided the Kardashian family? Sound off in the comments!
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