You probably think you know everything there is to know about Kim Kardashian and her siblings.
But there is a little-known prequel — the twisted story of her parents Robert and Kris’ tempestuous marriage, which was marked by rampant philandering and scandal. Author Jerry Oppenheimer’s book “The Kardashians: An American Drama” (St. Martin’s Press, out Sept. 19) reveals patriarch Robert’s infatuation with Elvis Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla, Kris’ repeated infidelity and Robert’s confession to his pastor that Khloé Kardashian wasn’t his biological daughter.
Here, the highlights:
Forever immortalized as the stand-by-his-man supporter of pal O.J. Simpson, Robert Kardashian rose to notoriety when he served as a legal consultant on the “dream team” that won the athlete a not-guilty verdict in his infamous 1995 murder trial. Robert, a born-again Christian of Armenian descent, was born in 1944 to a wealthy Los Angeles family; he would later distance himself from the clan’s corrupt meatpacking empire. Despite standing a mere 5-foot-8 and being stricken with a thick white hairline streak in his otherwise jet-black mane, he was considered one of Beverly Hills’ most eligible bachelors in the 1970s.
Born in 1955, Kristen “Kris” Houghton came from “redneck” roots and was raised in San Diego by her tough-as-nails maternal grandmother after her alcoholic father left when she was 7. By 12th grade, Kris wasn’t dreaming about prom or college, but looking for a man — a rich one. High-school pal Joan Zimmerman thought Kris’ mom, Mary Jo, was “kind of pimping her out” when the 17-year-old started a relationship with golf pro Cesar Sanudo, who was more than 10 years her senior. That ended when Kris met Robert — who thought the teenager looked like a young Natalie Wood, despite a necklace that read “OH, S – – T” — at a horse-racing track and cheated on her boyfriend with him.
As Jack Spradlin, a friend of Sanudo’s, said: “[Kris] saw a far better financial opportunity with Kardashian than with Cesar.”
[Robert] loved Khloé very much, but he said it in a way that implied that ‘She’s not my blood daughter.’
– Robert’s pastor, Kenn Gulliksen
Still, Robert thought Kris was too young for things to be serious, and soon dumped her for Priscilla Presley. He may have been besotted with the famous ex-wife of Elvis, but she only went out with Robert because “she had no one else to go out with,”…