The mother of a murder victim has spoken out publicly against Kim Kardashian, accusing the reality TV star-turned-activist of being manipulated by lawyers representing the man convicted of killing her child and others.
The 38-year-old star of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” is currently studying to be a lawyer, and has had a hand in freeing numerous prisoners in recent years. Kevin Cooper, a man convicted of murder in the 1980s, seems to be the next case on her list. Kardashian wrote on social media Friday, May 31, she’d met with Cooper and was optimistic that he would soon be exonerated.
“I am hopeful that Kevin will be exonerated since DNA testing has now been ordered on Kevin’s case and I remain grateful to Governor Newsom for ending capital punishment in California,” she wrote.
But Mary Ann Hughes, whose young son Cooper allegedly murdered, told TMZ she finds Kardashian’s apparent support for her son’s killer sickening.
"It makes me feel sick to my stomach and I pity her. For what she's doing to us, there's nothing to justify what she's doing to us, the immense pain she is causing us,” she said.
Cooper is currently on death row after having been convicted of a quadruple homicide more than 30 years ago. Doug and Peggy Ryen, along with their 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, and 11-year-old neighbor who was sleeping over, Christopher Hughes, were found stabbed to death inside the Ryens' home in Chino Hills, California in 1983, the Los Angeles Times reports. The couple’s 8-year-old son had his throat cut but he ultimately survived the brutal attack. Cooper was convicted two years later.
In her interview with TMZ, Mary Ann Hughes claimed Kardashian has “obviously has not read all of the actual evidence — she has bought into half truths perpetrated by the defense. If she actually sat down and read the transcripts of all the trials and appeals, she would be sick to her stomach to be in the same room with him.”
She went on to say Cooper’s legal representatives “are using [Kardashian] for her reality show status because they can't use the truth to try to help Kevin Cooper. The truth just condemns him.”
Cooper, she concluded, is “100 percent guilty and the evidence shows it.”
Kardashian has faced some backlash online, with critics pointing out that Cooper was previously accused of rape prior to his 1985 murder conviction.
The alleged rape took place in Pennsylvania in 1982, according to The New York Times. The alleged victim reportedly recognized Cooper as the man who had raped her at knifepoint years earlier after seeing his face on a wanted poster in connection with the killings at the Ryen home, the outlet reports.
Cooper, who was previously convicted for burglary, denied the rape accusation and was never charged, according to CBS News.
Still, Hughes pointed to the rape accusation as just one reason why Kardashian should not be supporting Cooper, telling TMZ, “She portrays herself as being for women's rights and for the women's movement and yet she is supporting a rapist and a murderer.”
She want on to say that Kardashian has not reached out to her, and that she has no interest in speaking to her, even if she did.
“My opinion of her is about as low as it goes because of what she's putting my family through ... dragging this through the press on a non-stop basis,” she said.
Kardashian began to make a name for herself as an advocate for prisoner rights last year after successfully petitioning for the release of Alice Johnson, a grandmother who was previously serving a life sentence for a first-time drug offense.
The mother of four revealed earlier this year that she’s secretly been studying to become a lawyer and plans to take the bar exam in 2020.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.