Keeping Up With Robert Kardashian: The Man Behind The Kardashian Empire

There is no simple human who is unaware of the Kardashian at this moment. However, the name Kardashian is not just known for Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian. The first time when the name Kardashian became popular was because of Robert Kardashian

Family means a lot to the Kardashians, and that is something they got from their late father, Robert Kardashian Sr. Robert Kardashian came to national attention when he took the case of O.J. Simpson and acted as his attorney. 

Early Life And Education

Early Life And Education

It was in Los Angeles, California, where Robert Kardashian was born. He was born on February 22, 1944. Robert Kardashian had a brother and a sister named Thomas Kardashian and Barbara Kardashian.  

He had his schooling at Susan Miller Dorsey High School, attended the University Of California, and graduated in 1966 with a degree in business administration. Kardashian also had a J.D. degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. He practiced law for over a decade and then moved toward business.  

Personal Life 

Kardashian was known to have dated Priscilla Presley for a short period of time. Joan, Kardashian’s sister-in-law, introduced this pair. In one episode of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” his daughter Kim mentioned that the pair were engaged briefly. 

Robert Kardashian and his first wife, Kris Kardashian, had four kids together. Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian. He separated from his first life in 1991. After that, he dated his third cousin, Shakarian Halicki, who was also the widow of H.B. Halicki, the movie producer. 

He was also engaged to her for a brief period, but that did not last for long. After that, he married Jan Ashley, but this marriage ended in an annulment in 1999. Later, Ashley claimed that Kardashian’s ex-wife and their kids were among the main reasons their relationship did not last. 

Kardashian dater Ellen Pierson, for three years after that, proposed to her in 2001 and then married her. This was just six weeks before his death. 

Robert Kardashian: The Man Who Stood By O.J. Simpson 

Robert Kardashian and O.J. Simpson shared an amazing bond throughout their lives. They met back in 1969 on a tennis court and have been friends ever since. They have been there for one another through thick and thin and have seen the good and bad times together. 

But on June 12, 1994, after the murder of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson stayed back at Kardashian’s house. People saw Robert Kardshian carrying a bag, which is believed to have the bloody clothes and the murder weapon O.J. Simpson used. 

But on the day of the trial, June 17, 1994, Simpson did not turn himself in. After that, Kardashian read a letter out loud to the assembled media. The crowd interpreted the letter as a suicide note by Simpson, 

But Kardashian mentioned that he talked him out of taking his own life. Kardashian told the Times in 1994, “I’ve never been in a jail before. It’s extremely depressing. It makes me sick every time I go down there. We can’t have any physical contact. I want to hug him; I want to show him that I care. It’s very difficult.” 

Kardashian had stopped practicing law and let his license become inactive before Simpson was charged with murder. But when he saw his friend under trial, he reactivated his license and stood by him not just as a friend but also as a volunteer assistant on his legal team. 

As he was one of Simpson’s lawyers, the prosecution could not compel or subpoena Kardashian to testify against Simpson. They could not take a word out of him about his past history, his behavior towards his ex-wife, and the contents of the bag. 

A True Friend Indeed

He sat by his side through the trail. In that interview with the Times, he also mentioned that when the trial was “going 20 hours a day on this,” it became much worse for Simpson. He said, “I can’t complain. I sleep in a real bed at night. Look where he’s sleeping … he’s in a cage.” 

He reactivated his license and told the Times, “I know O.J. better than anyone on the legal team. There are so many things I know about his personality. My job is really strategy and liaison between the lawyers and O.J.” 

Simpson’s lawyers also believed that Robert Kardashian would be the best person to keep Simpson steady when the image of his ex-wife and Goldman would be shown in court with the cameras pointed at Simpson.  

This trial put a wedge between Robert and his ex-wife as well. He addressed a letter to his and his children, where he mentioned, “I think that the division in our family between guilty and innocence is very sad. I do not want our family torn apart by this case. Please understand that I am trapped in the position I am in and can’t get out.” 

He also added, “I must see this case through. I truly believe in O.J.’s innocence, and unless they find him guilty, I will continue to support him. I realize, Kris, that you also strongly believe in his guilt. You are entitled to your beliefs — just as I am …” 

Illness And Death

Robert Kardashian was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died at the age of 59 on September 30, 2003, just eight weeks after he was diagnosed with it. All his children were open about the heartbreaking impact the death of their father had on their lives. 

In 2001, Kim Kardashian wrote a post on Instagram about her father’s death anniversary. The post read, “18 years ago was the worst day of my life. 💔 But I know u see and guide. Love never dies. Love u daddy.” 

In an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians in 2012, she mentioned that she felt that she handled the death of her father really well. She also said that before her father’s death, she spent a lot of time with her father while she worked with him in his office. 

Kim Kardashian also spoke about her father at the funeral. She said, “I think when someone’s sick, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do and take care of them.” 

Khloe wrote her memoir in 2015, named it “Strong Looks Better Naked,” and wrote that she completely fell apart during her father’s funeral. She explained the traumatic incident, saying, “I don’t remember the details, but apparently, I was an emotional wreck, and I’m told that I was so distraught I actually passed out.” 

She also added, “At one point, I fell to the floor kicking and screaming, and I had to be sedated. It was really intense. I refused to believe my father was gone. I just wanted to believe it was all just a bad dream.” 

Robert Kardashian: Real vs Reel

David Schwimmer portrayed the role of Robert Kardashian in the 2016 FX miniseries named American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson. He was also nominated for this role at the Primetime Emmy Awards for the category of supporting actor in a movie or limited series. 

However, he lost the award to Sterling K. Brown in the same series that portrayed the role of Christopher Darden. Robert Kardashian was also featured through some archived footage in the miniseries named O.J.: Made in America.  

Kardashian was also the subject in the pilot episode of the series “Over My Dead Body” that aired on Amazon Prime on the year 2017.

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Image of Subhasree Nag
A self-proclaimed Swiftian, Bridgerton-holic, and cinephile, Subhasree eats, breathes, and sleeps entertainment. When she is not imagining dates with Iron Man on Stark Tower (yes, she has the biggest crush on RDJ, which she won’t admit), she can be seen with the gram always open on her phone. Always the first one to break celebrity gossip, Subhasree is addicted to sharing everything celeb, Hollywood, and entertainment related on Gossipment. She is our go-to-source for the latest scoops and is our resident editor.

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