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O.J. Simpson Posed an ‘Unpredictable Threat’ to the Kardashians for Decades After Murders (Exclusive)

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Kardashians and the Simpsons were inseparable, raising their children together, spending time at each other’s homes and jetting off on tropical family vacations. But in 1994, after O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, everything changed. “It tore my family apart,” Kim Kardashian recalled in a 2020 interview, explaining that her mom, Kris Jenner, “believed” that Simpson murdered Nicole. “And then we’d go to my dad’s house,” said Kim, whose late father, Robert Kardashian, represented Simpson in his high-profile murder trial, “and it was a whole other situation there.”

In a verdict that stopped America in its tracks, Simpson was ultimately found not guilty of murdering Nicole and Goldman. But the Kardashians’ lives were forever changed. “O.J. cast a pall of fear and sadness over the entire family,” a former friend of the Kardashians reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly, adding that prior to his death on Wednesday, April 10 (Simpson had been battling prostate cancer), the “threat” that the 76-year-old posed to the reality stars “was something that they dealt with daily.”

Years after Nicole’s murder, Kim, 43, was approached by a media outlet to speak about her “Uncle O.J.” The former friend says Kim reluctantly agreed to do it — until word got back to Simpson, who was behind bars for stealing sports memorabilia. (In 2008, he was convicted on charges of armed robbery and released from jail in 2017.) “O.J. had called her from prison, leaving a simple but menacing voice mail. It said, ‘Kim, it’s Uncle O.J. Hope you’re doing well. I’ll call you soon,’” recalls the former friend. “His tone was neutral but firm — the edge was there. It was a warning, and Kim was terrified.”

She wasn’t the only one. According to the former friend, at that time, Jenner, 68, was still in contact with many of the key players in the murder trial. “[It seemed like] they were all terrified of Simpson and were united in keeping track of him for their own safety,” says the friend, adding that even after Kim decided not to speak about Simpson, it was clear that many “still considered O.J. a definite, unpredictable threat to the safety of them and their families.”

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Simpson’s association with the Kardashians endured long after the trial ended, with rumors swirling that he may have been Khloé Kardashian‘s biological father. The Kardashians addressed the theories in a 2012 episode of their long-running reality show — aptly titled “Who’s Your Daddy?” — where Jenner encouraged her daughter to take a DNA test, though Khloé, 39, ultimately decided against it. Simpson went on to deny the rumors in a 2019 Father’s Day video posted on Twitter, saying, “The simple facts of the matter is, she’s not mine.”

Robert, a close friend of Simpson’s since college, initially believed in the former NFL player’s innocence — and asked the rest of the Kardashians for their support in his decision to represent him in the murder trial. “He wrote us a handwritten letter,” recalled Jenner, “and just said, ‘Look, I know you don’t agree with what is going down here, but this is what I have to do for my friend.…’ It was very difficult because my ex-husband was on one side… I was kind of on the other, the kids were in the middle.”

OJ and Kardashian 2418 Us Weekly Cover No Chip
Getty Images

Robert, says the former friend, eventually realized that Simpson had lied to him. “He [felt] betrayed and tricked into defending [O.J.] at the most publicized trial in history. He was disgusted by the fact that O.J. could have murdered two people so brutally,” says the friend. “Robert may have won a not guilty verdict for a killer. He was never the same again after that day.”

Following the trial, Simpson kept tabs on everyone involved and would call them if they spoke to a news outlet. “He didn’t miss a story [and would] resurface in the life of any former associate who dared to talk about him to the press,” says the former friend. “At this point, O.J. was a free man, and everybody was deeply afraid of incurring his wrath.”

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Now that Simpson’s gone, the Kardashians can breathe a sigh of relief, but it will never change the uneasiness they lived with for decades. “The loss of Nicole [has] never [been] far away,” says the friend, revealing that photos of Nicole and the children — Sydney, 38, and Justin, 35, — she shared with Simpson remained on the walls of Jenner’s office for years. “The family is still… haunted by the horrible end she had faced,” adds the former family friend. “But they’re free from O.J.’s threats now.”

For more on O.J. and the Kardashians, watch the exclusive video above — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

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