American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson aired its fifth episode, “The Race Card,” last night, which addressed attempts on both sides to obtain their “ideal” jury and infighting between Simpson’s lawyers. As many remember, one of O.J. Simpson’s lawyers and friends was Robert Kardashian, and his family, now more famous than he ever was, were present for a lot of the goings-on. And now, one of his famous daughters, Khloe Kardashian, has come forward to explain just what she and her family went through as a result of her father defending O.J. Simpson.
The late Robert Kardashian, played by David Schwimmer on The People v. O.J. Simpson, was a friend of Simpson’s before becoming his attorney, the two having met in the early 1970s. In June 1994, after the suspicious deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, O.J. Simpson went to stay at the Kardashian residence with Robert and at one point was carrying a bag that many speculated contained the murder weapon. Kardashian would become a public voice for Simpson, reading a letter Simpson wrote to the media after the former NFL player failed to turn himself in. Upon Simpson being charged, Kardashian reactivated his license to practice law to help his friend, serving as a volunteer assistant on the defense team.
Now, Khloe Kardashian has revealed more about what happened to the family during the trial, both to her father and the rest of the Kardashian “Klan.” Calling it “one of the hardest times,” the youngest of the Kardashian siblings explains how the family dealt with internal strife, as her father was on O.J. Simpson’s legal team while mother Kris Jenner (who had already divorced Robert at the time of the alleged murder) was a good friend of victim Nicole Brown Simpson; the family would even sit on separate sides of the courtroom during trials!
In addition, the Kardashian home was treated as a base of operations for Simpson’s “dream team” of lawyers, which included Johnny Cochran and Bob Shapiro. The police were also there often for forensic testing, as Simpson had lived there long enough to leave his DNA around. Kris Jenner’s home wasn’t much better, as Nicole’s family would often be there.
“And I’m like, well, what do we think and where do we stand?” Khloe Kardashian explained. “Which parent do we side with? We’re siding with this one, then my mom and Bruce (Caitlyn Jenner) are upset. We’re over here, then my dad’s upset.” She also expressed difficulty dealing with the person she knew as “Uncle O.J.” being a potential killer, while also having to comfort and support her friend, Simpson’s daughter Sydney.
Lastly, Kardashian detailed how the family suffered at the hands of people who had already decided in their minds that Simpson was guilty. Examples she gave included her father’s cars being keyed with the word “guilty” etched into them and death threats being sent to the house. There was even enough of a concern about someone being kidnapped that Khloe Kardashian and her sisters were not allowed to visit their dad. All because of her parents, as she puts it, “trying to be true friends.”
The four Kardashian kids (Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob) make brief appearances in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (all portrayed by young actors), with Kris Jenner being played by Selma Blair.