In an exclusive clip from her sit-down with David Letterman for season 3 of his Netflix talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the star recalls how the historic trial affected their family dynamics. (The interview was filmed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and before her husband Kanye West launched his controversial and improbable presidential run.)
"It was dinner time, and we were all sitting down, and I answered the phone. It was a call from jail, and it was O.J., and I handed my mom the phone because he wanted to speak to her," says Kim, 39. "And I just remember them getting into it."
The late Robert Sr. was a friend of Simpson's and served as one of the NFL star's defense attorneys during his murder trial for the violent deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Kris, on the other hand, had been close with both Simpson and Brown, and stood by the Simpson children after Brown's death.
Though he was acquitted of the double-murders in October 1995, Simpson was deemed liable for the deaths in 1997 in a civil case brought by the two victims' families. In 2008, he was convicted for his role in the armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas. He was released from prison in 2017 after serving nine years.
Getty (2) Kim Kardashian West and O.J. Simpson
Kim, who was around 14 years old at the time of the initial trial, says it was difficult to navigate the opposition between her divorced parents.
"My mom was extremely vocal on her feelings — she believed that her friend was murdered by him and that was really traumatizing for her," she says. "And then we'd go to my dad's house and it was a whole other situation there."
"We didn't really know what to believe or whose side to take as kids, because we didn't want to hurt one of our parents' feelings," she continues.
Robert Kardashian Sr. and O.J. Simpson
In one instance, she recalls, her father took her and her older sister Kourtney Kardashian out of school to go to court — but didn't tell Kris.
"I remember my mom was sitting with Nicole's parents, and Kourtney and I were sitting behind O.J., and we look over at my mom and she's giving us this death stare — like, 'What are you doing out of school? What are you doing here?!'" Kim says. "Kourtney and I were like, 'Just look straight — do not look at Mom.'"
"It tore my family apart, I'd say, for the whole time of the trial," she adds.
Season 3 of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman debuts Wednesday on Netflix.