Kim Kardashian has revealed how the OJ Simpson trial ripped her family apart after her parents took opposite sides throughout the gruesome murder case – admitting that it was ‘really tough’ for her and older sister Kourtney Kardashian, who felt like they had to choose between their mother and their father.
Back in 1994, Kim’s dad, Robert Kardashian, acted one of the lawyers defending their close family friend OJ after he was accused of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson – while her mom, Kris Jenner, strongly believed that he was guilty.
Now, the SKIMS founder, 43, has reflected on how the former football star’s sensational legal battle and her divorced parents’ opposing views divided her family during a recent interview with GQ magazine.
According to the reality star, who was 13 years old when the trial began, her dad pulled her and her Kourtney, then 14, out of school because he wanted them to ‘witness a piece of history.’
But her mom – who had split from Robert in 1991 and got remarried to Caitlyn Jenner, who was known as Bruce at the time, one month later – was not happy when she found out they were missing their classes.
‘My dad pulled Kourtney and me out of school. He said, “I want you girls to witness a piece of history and what a trial is like,”‘ Kim recalled.
‘We walked in and saw my mom sitting on the other side. She said, “You’re supposed to be in school. What are you doing here?” Kourtney and I didn’t even look at her.’
She explained that she and Kourtney opted to spend more time with their dad during the trial because they felt their mom was ‘happily remarried’ while their father was ‘by himself.’
‘Kourtney and I were drawn to our dad. We felt like Mom was happily remarried, so we would live with Dad. We didn’t want him to be by himself,’ she continued.
But she said the 15-month legal battle was extremely difficult on her and the rest of the Kardashian clan, adding, ‘That was really tough for our family.’
While discussing her parents’ split – which came after Kris admitted to having an affair with a soccer player 10-years her junior, named Todd Waterman – Kim, who was nine at the time, told GQ that she was completely taken aback when they called a ‘family meeting’ and told her and her siblings they were ending their marriage.
‘I didn’t foresee any of it,’ she shared. ‘I was in the bath and they called a family meeting.
‘I remember thinking, “Please, Lord, don’t let them be getting a divorce.” I never had an inkling that it would happen, but I knew that was what they were going to tell us. I felt it.’
Kourtney, being slightly older, admitted that she had noticed a few clues leading up to the divorce.
‘Just being the oldest, I would overhear things,’ she explained. ‘I remember one night hearing them whisper-arguing.
‘My parents never fought my whole life, so it was traumatizing when they did.’
Kim also opened up about how going through that as a kid helped her navigate her own split from ex-husband Kanye West.
She said her parents made her and her siblings feel ‘loved and heard’ throughout their divorce – which is something she made sure to do with her kids when she and Kanye went their separate ways in 2021.
‘I did think about how my parents handled it with us,’ she said of her decision to end her own marriage.
‘I just remember them being open… Ultimately, what matters is that kids feel loved and heard.
‘You want to be sensitive because they’re just kids, and it’s hard to go through no matter what age.
‘You have to make sure that you only go to a level that they can understand. It’s OK to show a vulnerable side. You never go to a negative side.’
The TV sensation previously opened up about how the OJ trial affected her family during an appearance on David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
‘My mom was extremely vocal on her feelings… she believed that her friend was murdered by him and that was really traumatizing for her,’ she said.
‘And then we’d go to my dad’s house and it was a whole other situation there. We didn’t really know what to believe or whose side to take as kids, because we didn’t want to hurt one of our parents’ feelings.’
She also spoke further about her mother’s reaction to her and Kourtney skipping school.
She continued, ‘I remember my mom was sitting with Nicole’s parents, and Kourtney and I were sitting behind OJ, and we look over at my mom and she’s giving us this death stare – like, “What are you doing out of school? What are you doing here?”
‘Kourtney and I were like, “Just look straight – do not look at mom.” It tore my family apart, I’d say, for the whole time of the trial.’
OJ was ultimately acquitted of the crime and continues to maintain his innocence.
Back in 2017, Caitlyn claimed in her memoir that Robert secretly believed OJ was guilty.
She said a few years after the trial, she and Robert were in a car together when he said, ‘I would’ve been OK with it if they had gotten him in the first trial.’
‘The implication was obvious that he believed OJ was guilty,’ Caitlyn wrote of her takeaway from that exchange in the book.