Everything Kris Jenner Has Said About Nicole Brown Simpson's Tragic Murder and Their Decades-Long Friendship

The two friends met when Jenner was only 17 years old through her late ex-husband Robert Kardashian Sr.

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty ; Daniele Venturelli/Getty</p> (L) Nicole Brown Simpson and Kris Jenner

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty ; Daniele Venturelli/Getty

(L) Nicole Brown Simpson and Kris Jenner

When Kris Jenner was just 17 years old, her late ex-husband Robert Kardashian Sr. introduced her to Nicole Brown Simpson and O.J. Simpson and they soon became best friends.

The two families were incredibly close. For nearly two decades, the Kardashian-Simpson clans shared vacations with their children, celebrated countless birthdays and supported each other through good times and bad. The Kardashian kids even referred to them as "Auntie" and "Uncle" at the height of the family's friendship.

That relationship didn’t last forever — at least not for Jenner. When O.J. was accused of murdering Nicole and friend Ronald Goldman, Jenner took the side of her deceased friend. Meanwhile, Jenner’s husband Robert Sr. went on to represent Simpson in his double murder trial.

The trial seemingly split the Kardashian-Jenner family, and Jenner even sat on Nicole’s side of the courtroom while her husband served for the defense. O.J. was eventually acquitted of the charges, though he was found liable for the deaths and paid out millions to the victims' families.

(L-R) O.J. Simpson, Kris Jenner, Robert Kardashian Sr. and Nicole Brown Simpson
(L-R) O.J. Simpson, Kris Jenner, Robert Kardashian Sr. and Nicole Brown Simpson

Related: Here's How the Kardashians — Including Kris Jenner — Are Connected to O.J. Simpson

O.J.'s controversy captivated millions who watched from afar, but for Jenner, the murder of Nicole and the subsequent trial was deeply personal.

“[O.J. and Nicole] were two of the best friends I ever had in my entire life,” Jenner told PEOPLE in January 2016. “I went to bed one night and I woke up the next morning and my entire universe had changed. 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.”

“I have these vivid memories of an amazing friendship and a life that we all had together,” she said at the time, sharing how Nicole had touched her life. “She was funny, she was beautiful and loyal and passionate and the best mom I had ever met.”

(L) Kris Jenner and Nicole Brown Simpson
(L) Kris Jenner and Nicole Brown Simpson

Related: Kris Jenner Reveals She Was with Nicole Brown Simpson When She Bought O.J. Gloves Allegedly Used in Killings

During the trial, Jenner learned that Nicole had been a victim of domestic violence and confessed that she still feels guilty for not being privy to the signs of her abuse.

“I saw all the pictures and the police reports and I heard tapes of Nicole calling 911 [after she was abused by O.J.],” the Kardashians star recalled. “That was stuff I didn’t know anything about. I beat myself up because I felt like I wasn’t paying attention. Like, how did I miss this? But that’s typical in an abusive relationship – that the woman doesn’t speak out about how she’s being treated.”

“My heart breaks because of all the pain and suffering she went through. I wish I had noticed the signs. She was fighting for her life many days I’m sure. I try to pay attention to things more now. I follow my intuition," she continued, adding how she hopes Nicole's legacy will shed light on domestic violence towards women.

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> (L) O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

(L) O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson

Related: Kris Jenner Says O.J. Simpson Tried to Contact Her Right After Nicole Brown Simpson's Murder: 'He Wanted to Explain How He Felt'

In a 2019 episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jenner and her friend Faye Resnick visited a Los Angeles restaurant that they used to frequent with Nicole called Toscana for the first time since her death.

"It is very difficult being here, I have to tell you. We had so many occasions here. I don't know when you've been here, but the last time I was here was with you and Nicole," Resnick confessed before Jenner pointed out the table they were seated at and recalled Nicole's order.

"I wasn't going to cry," Jenner said through tears after recalling the tragedy. "I think I've realized that I've latched onto the legal side of stuff, rather than deal with the emotional side of myself that just misses my girlfriend."

"You can't explain this to anybody," she added. "There's a part of me that just gets so angry that I mask my emotions of sadness because I can be angry."

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O.J. died of cancer, his family confirmed in a statement on X on April 11.

"On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren," the family's statement read. "During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace."

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