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Kris Jenner Talks Nicole Brown Simpson’s Murder: ‘I Didn’t Pay Enough Attention,’ Feel Like I ‘Failed Her as a Friend’

Kris Jenner opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about grappling with guilt after losing her late best friend, Nicole Brown Simpson, who was murdered in June 1994 — and the Kardashian family matriarch revealed that she still feels burdened by the traumatic loss.

Jenner, 60, recalled on the Tuesday, March 1, episode, that Simpson’s situation “really surprised and shocked” her close friends, who were unaware of the model’s private struggles with her ex-husband, O.J. Simpson. (The iconic case is now back in the headlines thanks to FX’s talked-about miniseries American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.)

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“We felt like we really failed her as a friend,” the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star revealed. “You know, you go through this and you discover things about somebody, and it was horrible.”

The timing was unfortunate, too. “She and I were supposed to have lunch the day after she was murdered,” Jenner recalled. “She said she wanted to show me some things and talk about what was in her safe. So now, unfortunately, it all makes sense … That’s probably what she wanted to reveal to me that next day, which broke my heart because I will always feel horrible that I didn’t pay enough attention.”

The Kardashian family poses with O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson's family in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 1994.
The Kardashian family poses with O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson’s family in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in 1994.

Jenner also opened up to DeGeneres about how she discovered the news of her late friend’s murder. “Her mom called me,” the momager recalled. “I had known O.J. since I was 17 years old. When I met Robert I met O.J., so that was a very long time ago. He was like a big brother to me, and that morning I was coming back from taking the kids to school and I was supposed to meet Nicole. I was going to change and go and meet her, and the phone rang. My assistant said, ‘Judy’s on the phone,’ and I said to tell her, ‘I’ll call her right back.’” (As depicted in the miniseries, the late Robert Kardashian was Simpson’s best and most loyal friend.)

Related: PHOTOS: Kardashian Family Album

Her assistant, however, knew something was wrong. “She talked to Judy for a second and she said, ‘You really need to take the call,'” Jenner remembered. “And I picked up the phone and she said, ‘Nicole’s been shot.’ And I said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘OK, I am on my way. Where do I need go?’” (Details later surfaced that both Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were brutally stabbed to death.)

Simpson’s mom, Juditha Brown, then broke the news of her daughter’s death. “She said, ‘No, she didn’t make it.’ … That was the information that Judy had at that very moment in time. That was very early in the morning.”

Related: PHOTOS: Reality TV Tragedies: The Saddest and Most Shocking Deaths

Simpson was found murdered outside of her home in L.A.’s Brentwood in June 1994 alongside 25-year-old aspiring model Goldman.

While evidence from the murders pointed back to O.J. Simpson, who was a retired star NFL player at the time, he was ultimately found “not guilty” in 1995 after a highly publicized eight-month trial.

He is now serving a 33-year sentence behind bars in a federal prison in Nevada for armed robbery, kidnapping and several other felonies. 

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