Rob Jr., Kim, Khloe, Kourtney Kardashian, and their mother Kim Jenner sometimes mention the Kardashian patriarch Robert Kardashian on the E! reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashian. Who was he? The answer is pretty fascinating.
Robert Kardashian married flight attendant Kris Houghton (Kristen Mary Houghton) in 1978. He earned a law degree from University of San Diego and practiced law for about ten years before moving into the music production business. His marriage to Kris ended in 1989, and on the show Kourtney has claimed that her father loved her mother until his death, in 2003 from esophageal cancer. In Kris’s 2011 biography, she explained that the marriage ended because she cheated on Robert with a guy named Ryan. Here’s the confession from Kris Jenner . . . and All Things Kardashian:
“Coming from humble yet wonderful beginnings in Southern California, I was lucky to meet a man who should have been the love of my life, a young and successful lawyer named Robert Kardashian. He transported me into a Beverly Hills dream life and helped me foster a close relationship with God. Then I threw it all away fro a crazy love (or lust affair that left me flattened. I lost my husband, my friends, my home, and nearly me mind, only to reassemble my life and my family with my second husband, the Olympic champion Bruce Jenner. “
She lied to Robert for a while, and made every excuse to have wild, passionate sex with Ryan.
But Kardashian wasn’t the only person Kris cheated on. She also admits in her book to cheating on a professional golfer (who she refuses to name) with Robert Kardashian! Kris Houghton was even engaged to the golfer, and almost got married at Tom Watson’s rented house in England, but for quite some time she had been stringing along Robert Kardashian.
Kris met Robert at a horse race while she was living with her sister in the golfer’s house in San Diego. Robert tracked her down, and continued to call her at the golfer’s house even after she told him about her “situation.” Eventually they went on a date, but that same night the golfer caught Kris and Robert together in the house, and Robert got roughed up by the golfer.
Kris stayed with the golfer for a while, but found an out when she discovered he was cheating on her. After that Robert proposed to Kris, but she refused, still not yet twenty, and not ready to be engaged again. She went off to flight attendant school, and Robert promptly started dating Priscilla Presley!
Kris and Robert eventually got back together, and married on July 8, 1978.
Kardashian practiced law for 20 years, but had let his law license go inactive to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors when his best friend O.J. Simpson was accused of killing his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. O.J. was an old friend of Robert’s, going back to the 1970s when they lived together and started a yogurt company called Juice, Inc. O.J. stayed at Kardashian’s home after Nicole and Ron were murdered, and Robert quickly became entwined in the case. Not only did Robert let O.J. stay at his house, he also read a letter on behalf of O.J. the day he failed to turn himself in on murder charges. At 11 a.m. on June 17, 1994, Robert Kardashian read to television cameras what many believed was O.J.’s suicide note. Here’s an excerpt:
“I’ve had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person.”
He then reactivated his law license and went to work on O.J.’s legal dream team, sitting beside him throughout the media blitz trial. Robert Kardashian’s association with O.J. Simpson further alienated his ex-wife, then Kris, then married to athlete Bruce Jenner. On the E! show Kris reveals that she was a friend of Nicole Brown Simpson and was on the opposite side of the Simpson case. Later, Robert expressed doubts about O.J.’s innocence. Although O.J. was acquitted of the Simpson-Goldman murders has since been sentenced to 33 years for a 2007 armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Robert Kardashian died on September 30, 2003, eight weeks after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
Last year on the fifth anniversary of her father’s death Kim Kardashian posted the black and white photo at the top of this post and wrote this on her website:
Today [September 30] is the day my father passed away
five years ago. I can’t even believe it has been that long.It seems like our lives have changed so much in these past five years. Every tough thing that would come our way, it seemed my dad was watching over us and protecting us and somehow we would make it through and come out even stronger!There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about him or wish he were here. I often have really real dreams about him, where I wake up so mad it was just a dream. I miss him so much!Today is a hard day, but my reason for this post is to honor my dad! He was the most amazing dad, husband, son, brother and my best friend!I love you Dad!
UPDATE: January 2012 reports were made by one of Khloe Kardashian’s stepmoms (and past speculative claims made by another of Khloe’s stepmoms that Khloe was not Robert Kardashian’s biological dad. Immediately afterwards, court documents emerged with a quote from Robert Kardashian saying that he had “four biological children” and Kris Jenner called the claims “crap.”