January 19, 1995
She was tall and young and blonde and rich. She wasn't famous, but her husband was and she would be too when she died. But those who knew her, who really knew her, thought she was special early on. People like her school teacher Bill Prestidge.
He said, "She wasn't your average high school girl. I think she wanted to make a name for herself. She wanted to go somewhere in life." (77k aiff)
And she did. She met OJ Simpson when she was barely out of high school
and eventually she married him.
A friend explained, "Nicole was a very simple, very unsophisticated woman who met OJ when I believe she was 19. She had never prepared herself to live independently in the world. She had no job skills."
Perhaps because she didn't think she needed any. Her marriage seemed happy. Friends certainly thought Nicole was happy.
One friend reminisced, "She had such life and such energy for everything: for her children, for herself, and for her friends. She was a very vivacious kind of woman. She was so much fun." (99k aiff)
But the marriage, as it turned out, wasn't much fun. Sometimes it was downright dangerous, as shown by this exchange between Nicole and a 911 operator in 1989 (33k aiff):
911 operator: "Just stay on the line."
Nic: "I don't want to stay on the line. He's going to beat the shit out of me."
Friends said they didn't know bad it was until they heard the 911 tapes, tapes played after her death.
Donna Estes, a friend of Nicole and OJ's, said about the tapes: "It broke my heart."
Unlike her friends, Nicole Brown Simpson's therapist, Dr. Susan Forward, knew about the beatings. Forward said, "She was battered incessantly, regularly, all the time. I'm not saying 24 hours a day, but the incidents of battering were extraordinarily high." (110k aiff)
But Simpson saw her therapist only twice. Still, she did get divorced. There were a couple reconciliation attempts. But in the end, friends said she wanted to live life on her own, with her children. Everyone said Nicole Simpson was a good mother who loved her children very much. The children are now being looked after by her sisters and her parents.
"It was overwhelming. We haven't had a quiet moment. When we have a quiet moment, or think we have a quiet moment, there are the children," commented Nicole's mother, Juditha Brown, on the adjustment to caring for two young children.
Many people admired Nicole for her compassionate and caring personality. A friend said, "She was nothing but a woman who put other people in front of herself. She cared so much about her kids, Sydney and Justin, and her family. She was such a warm woman."
It's easy to believe that that's how she would want to be remembered: the loving mother. But she has not been allowed that final dignity. Sadly, death has transformed her into a tacky tabloid queen, a sideshow in the sideshow of OJ Simpson.
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