VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — When Kyle Upham tells people about how actor Paul Walker bought his wife’s beautiful diamond ring, he says people are kind of skeptical.
It’s understandable, since the story is kind of unbelievable.
“It’s still to this day the most generous thing anyone has ever done for me,” Kristen Upham says.
The couple was browsing in a Santa Barbara jewelry store in 2004, just before Kyle was set to be deployed for a second tour of duty in Iraq.
“I noticed there was someone else in there but didn’t give it much thought, and we started looking at rings and whatnot and he kept saying, ‘Go bigger’ and I kept saying, ‘No, look at the prices,'” Kristen said.
Kyle began chatting with a friendly fellow shopper, later figuring it out it was “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker.
“When we were talking, we exchanged names and talked about what each of us did,” Kyle said.
“And when he found out Kyle just came back from Iraq — I remember seeing the look in his face,” Kristen said. “He kind of transformed.”
The couple eventually left the store without the $9,000 ring, but a saleswoman called them and told them to come back.
“One of the ladies came out holding a bag and just said, ‘Here’s your ring.’ I think both of our mouths dropped,” Kristen said.
For a while, the couple thought maybe the jewelry store’s workers had put their money together to buy the ring for them. When they asked the employees who bought the ring, all they got was a smile and a reply that it was better not to say.
The Uphams still have the gift receipt and later determined Walker was behind the gesture. After seeing the jewelry store worker tell her story Monday night, their suspicions were confirmed.
“When we hand down the ring through the generations, there will always be a story to tell,” Kyle said.
“His real life speaks volumes of his character,” Kristen said. “He really did put his money where his mouth is and did good for this world.”