Most people nowadays know Kris Jenner as the queen momager of the Kardashian-Jenner clan from the reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But unbeknownst to many, Jenner was also the best friend of Nicole Brown Simpson before the time of her death.
With the Fox miniseries American Crime Story: The People vs O.J. Simpson set to air Tuesdays on FX starting this week, Kris Jenner sat down for an interview with People to reveal details about her friendship with Nicole, not to mention the shocking conversation she had with O.J. after the convicted felon was sent to jail.
Kris, 60, recalled the events of the morning she found out that Nicole was murdered, revealing that they had plans for lunch on that very day.
“We had plans for lunch,” said Jenner. “I dropped my kids off at school and on the way home, I called her house to confirm lunch. And when I got home, I got a call from Nicole’s mom, Judy, and she told me.”
“I went into shock,” Kris Jenner added. “And I turned on the TV and there it was. They were showing the crime scene. It was horrific.”
According to the Keeping Up With The Kardashians reality star, what pained her the most about Nicole’s murder is the fact that she considered O.J. Simpson a close friend and a big brother.
“I went to bed one night and I woke up the next morning and my entire universe had changed,” Jenner says of the day she learned of Nicole’s death. “They were two of the best friends I ever had in my entire life. They were my family. O.J. was like my big brother. So I not only mourned the loss of Nicole, but I mourned the loss of O.J. and that relationship.”
Kris also opened up about how Nicole helped her cope with a traumatic miscarriage before she had Kendall Jenner.
“Nicole was an amazing friend. Before I got pregnant with Kendall, I had a miscarriage at three months. Nicole really got me through that.”
Kris Jenner spoke about the conversation she had with O.J. when she visited him in his cell following Nicole’s murder, recalling how insistent he was in pleading his innocence. Kris wasn’t convinced in the least. According to her, the evidence against O.J. was just so overwhelming for her to think otherwise.
“I talked to him while he was in jail,” said Kris. “He was trying to tell me he didn’t do it, and what he thought had happened. I just listened to him, to what he was saying to me.”
“I’m a very logical person. I want to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, but the evidence was so strong. [What he said] didn’t have any effect on what I thought.”
Kris Jenner added that she still feels guilt over Nicole’s death even to this day, noting how she failed to notice the signs of abuse inflicted on her friend at the time. According to Jenner, Nicole reported O.J. to the police at least nine times before her murder.
“[Nicole’s death] could have been prevented. I have five daughters so of course I want women everywhere, especially women of this new generation, to know the story. They need to realize that they have a voice and they need to tell somebody if someone has hurt them.”
O.J. Simpson is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence — unrelated to the murder case — with eligibility for parole next year. The case was often referred to as the “Trial of the Century.” Coincidentally, O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney at the time was Kris Jenner’s ex-husband, Robert Kardashian.
Jenner also spoke about her interactions with Selma Blair, the actress who portrays her in American Crime Story: The People vs O.J. Simpson. While Kris has not seen Selma play the part yet, she expressed her optimism by acknowledging her prodigious talent as an actress.
“She has, I hope, done a really good job of bringing it home. I’m sure she has, she is such a talented actress.”
Kris Jenner also talked about her long conversation with David Schwimmer on the phone. According to Kris, the Friends actor, who plays Robert Kardashian in the miniseries, called her on the phone to learn more about her ex-husband in preparation for the role.
During the conversation, which Kris said lasted for “hours,” she told David that Rob was a big fan of his back when Friends was still being aired.
“Robert was one of David’s biggest fans when they were doing Friends, back in the day – he watched it religiously. So it was kind of, you know, wild that he is playing Robert.”
[Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images]