When Khloe Kardashian was asked last month about what it has been like to watch her family portrayed in The People vs. O.J. Simpson, she lamented how the popular FX miniseries is “sensationalizing” the Kardashian name. But during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday, her mother, Kris Jenner, took a more reflective approach.
Perhaps that’s because while Khloe was just 10 years old when O.J. Simpson went to trial for allegedly killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, Jenner was already a mother of four children and a close friend of Nicole’s. And as she indicated at the time, she still says now she had no idea that O.J. had been physically assaulting her friend on a regular basis until she heard the 911 tapes that were to be used as evidence in the murder trial.
“We felt like we really failed her as a friend,” Jenner told DeGeneres of Nicole’s social circle at the time. “You go through this and you discover things about somebody, and it was horrible.” She said she will always “feel horrible” that she didn’t “pay enough attention” to her friend.
In the new series, Selma Blair plays Jenner while David Schwimmer has taken on the role of Robert Kardashian, who was a close confidant of O.J.’s and became a major player on his legal team. “It was painfully...” Jenner said of the trial, stopping herself. “Every single day it was something different, and it was very difficult. My ex-husband was on one side, I was kind of on the other, my kids were in the middle.”
“Everybody lost so much that night,” Jenner said of the murders. “You lost everything you knew.”
Jenner’s discussion with DeGeneres took on a lighter tone when the issue of Kanye West’s unique approach to Twitter came up. After a month in which he got in ugly battles with Wiz Khalifa, declared Bill Cosby “INNOCENT,” and shared TMI about the process of making his perpetually delayed new album, DeGeneres asked Jenner of her son-in-law, “Don’t you want to just say, ‘Stop tweeting?’”
“There have been days where there should be a no-tweeting law and I feel like, ‘I’ll ground him,’” Jenner joked. Ellen suggested a “board of directors” should review Kanye’s tweets before he sends them out and Jenner agreed that he needs a bit more oversight.
“When he was like, ‘Oh, I am 53 million dollars in debt,’ that whole thing, what he was trying to say was that’s what he has done to spend on his clothing line over the last 15 or 20 years or whatever it’s been,” Jenner explained. “But it comes out not exactly the right way and people get it misconstrued through the media. It’s complicated, what can I say?”
Noting that there was something incongruous about the objectively wealthy West soliciting crowd-funded donations, DeGeneres said, “A lot of people here would like to have a GoFundMe page to pay for their stuff.”
Finally, the conversation found its way to Caitlyn Jenner, who came out as a transgender woman nearly a year ago. DeGeneres acknowledged that it is a bit “weird” that the last time Kris Jenner was on her show, it was Valentine’s Day and she was seated next to her husband, Bruce. “Now, she is Caitlyn,” the host said, “and it's confusing, because for a while she was not saying whether she was going to date women or men, and now apparently she has said that she’s going to date men.”
Jenner agreed that the situation was “confusing, for sure,” but added, “I really want her to be happy and be really comfortable in all the things where she says she wasn’t her true authentic self for most of her life and knew when she was 4 that she had felt like that.”
“So you don’t want somebody to be miserable or in pain or anything like that. I think for me, it’s just getting used to that,” Jenner continued. “You know, I am human and I have my feelings but I try and it’s just baby steps. It’s like the mourning of somebody that you feel you are never going to be with or see again.”
Last fall, Caitlyn Jenner made her first appearance as herself on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and managed to cause controversy by expressing her one-time opposition to same-sex marriage.
As a “traditionalist,” Caitlyn Jenner told DeGeneres that she “likes” that marriage has “always been a man and a woman.” But over the years, she said she had evolved, to a degree. “If that word ‘marriage’ is really, really that important to you, I can go with it,” she said.
Taken aback, DeGeneres told her, “Obviously ‘marriage’ is an important word because marriage is marriage and equality is equality, so we want the same word everyone else has.”