Paul Walker Secretly Paid For Engagement Ring That Iraq Vet Couldn’t Afford; Couple Comes Forward

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When Kyle Upham tells the story of how actor Paul Walker paid for his wife’s diamond engagement ring, people are skeptical.

But after a former Santa Barbara jewelry store clerk recalled the story on CBS Los Angeles Monday, people’s suspicions, including the couple’s, finally went away.

“It’s still to this day the most generous thing anyone has ever done for me,” Kristen Upham told CBS Los Angeles.

The couple came forward Tuesday after watching Irene King, the former jewelry store clerk, reveal the “Fast and Furious” star’s generous anonymous donation.

“[Walker] was shopping in the store at the same time as a soldier who had just finished up his first tour of duty in Iraq. The soldier was heading overseas again and was shopping with his fiancée, looking as engagement rings,” King said. “She saw something that she really, really like, but he said, ‘Honey, I can’t afford that.”

It turned out that something the woman was looking at was a $9,000 engagement set. Walker overheard the couple’s conversation.

“He called the manager and he said, ‘Umm, the ring that hose people are looking at – put it on my tab,” King said. “Soon after that, he just left.”

The couple walked out the store without buying anything but was called back in by a sales associate. They couldn’t believe it when they were told the ring was an anonymous gift.

At first the couple thought the jewelry store’s workers put the money together to buy the ring. But after careful thought, they suspected it was Walker.

Kyle remembers striking up a conversation with the actor, later realizing who he was.

“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 jewelry store kept the secret for more than a decade, King said.

“To do something like that to a perfect stranger it just unbelievable,” King said.

Ever since the news broke of his untimely death on Saturday, fans and those who knew him alike have described Walker, 40, as one of Hollywood’s “good guys.” Autopsy reports revealed Wednesday Walker died of “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.” The driver, Roger Rodas, 38, died of “multiple trauma injuries.”

Walker and Rodas had just come back from an event for Walker’s charity, “Reach Out WorldWide, which aids in disaster relief, when Rodas apparently lost control of their 2005 Porshe Carrera and hit a tree and light pole.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, Yahoo