Stories from Nicole's House...

Monday, 3 October 2016

After THAT Verdict, the Forecast HAD Been Sort-Of Inevitable!

Even if you didn't think that O.J. was the killer, it is clear that he certainly beat Nicole at least a few times - in fact, in her diaries, which were not admitted as evidence, she recorded sixty-one separate incidents of abuse - and yet somehow that element of their relationship was strangely sacrosanct, it was something no one seemed ready to assess honestly and shamelessly.

The legal aspects of domestic violence - which was referred to in court as "domestic discord," since the word "violence" was deemed prejudicial - created a rallying point for outraged feminists and social workers and women's advocates to gather around and make some noise. It gave Denise Brown a good reason to avoid going to court. But none of the spousal abuse experts making their points on CNN or Geraldo Live had anything enlightening to say.

Even though we all knew that there must have been some kind of strange dynamic going on between O.J. and Nicole, some insulated universe that they invented and they alone understood, some kind of closet system that they had entered long ago, none of the pundits wanted to touch it, to speculate on it. The fact that the crime of domestic wife-beating had so long been overlooked - meant that nuanced thinking about these relationships had to be suppressed.

Meanwhile, as fired up as many people were getting about battered woman's syndrome out here in the real world, inside the courtroom none of this was getting through. One juror, interviewed after the verdict, even declared all the spousal abuse evidence "a waste of time", and left it at that. While this reaction was disingenuous and indicative of the jury's overall stupidity, it was also an understandably impatient response to a monolithic, simplistic view of what it means when a man throws his fist at a woman.

Because it means many things, just as both the words "yes" and "no" mean many things, and the human condition has always been and will forever be made more complicated, exciting, fun and difficult by the misunderstandings that dog us day after day, if not hour after hour or minute by minute. And this will always be the problem when the law gets mixed up with human affairs, particularly crimes of passion or mistakes of the heart: the legal system imposes a straightforward, Manichaean set of absolutes on crooked, twisted, multimotivated human behavior.
In criminal court, one can never be sort-of guilty or kind-of innocent.

While the O.J. trial brought domestic violence into the open, it may well have pushed the subtleties of personality - the simple idea that you can act as a person and not as a "syndrome" - dangerously out of view. Any curiosity about what made Nicole stay seventeen years in a relationship that was apparently violent from the start, what strange deal she'd made with the devil long ago - all that was discounted.

There was never any suggestion that by documenting the abuse and leaving pictures of her injured self in her safe-deposit box - which the prosecution had to drill open as it searched for evidence - and telling her friends "O.J. is going to kill me and get away with it," Nicole might have indicated not mere resignation to her fate but a strange acceptance of it...


It was never okay to conjecture that she have believed that it was somehow the proper denouement of her star-crossed romantic life to end up stabbed outside her home, throat slit so completely that she was almost decapitated...

There was never any thought that this bloody crime scene was as inevitable to her as William Holden floating in the pool at the beginning and the end of Sunset Boulevard, a great movie about characters who always knew it would come to this, who knew that Oedipus was a fool to fight his destined disgrace: instead of resisting fate, they get drunk with doom. Any suggestion of this kind of complicity on Nicole's part was absolutely verboten.

Somehow it was only okay to say that Nicole suffered and was murdered - never that she may have courted death or at the very least been a passive partner in her own end. That is just a far too sickening thought after years of feminism have tried to show us otherwise.

It does not matter that O.J. killed Nicole after she left, or that when a violent marriage ends in femicide, 75 percent of these murders occur after she has really severed ties: WHAT MATTERS IS THAT SHE STAYED.

Blame it on battered wife syndrome, on her friends, her family, Southern California in general or Brentwood in particular: it doesn't matter. There are women who walk out on a man who punches them, and there are women who stay: that's the main difference between people who get killed and people who don't. Seventeen years later it's too late....

I bet she left a safe-deposit box with pictures of her bruised face in it and the diary with its record of sixty-one instances of abuse, and I bet she told her friends over and over again, "O.J.'s going to kill me," not because she was afraid it was so or that she was even trying to prevent it - I think she said it because she knew it were so. She was forecasting the weather, knowing full well that there's nothing you can do to stop a hurricane...

Elizabeth Wurtzel
Bitch In Praise of Difficult Women
(London: Quartet Books 1998)

Friday, 23 September 2016

#RecollectNicole! Let's Explode the Myth!

Many African-Americans reacted with disbelief and shock when they learned that O.J. Simpson was the prime suspect in the brutal murder of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her male friend. I, too, was incredulous...

I was annoyed that the media, encouraged by incriminating news leaks from Los Angeles justice officials, seemed to delight in the fall of this "all-American hero" - O.J., the handsome, former football star, sportscaster, actor, millionaire, who had risen from poverty to the top with a blond, former homecoming queen on his arm. He had it all, according to the American ideal - at least on the surface.

Then the myth exploded!


The magnitude of such destructiveness to his ex-wife, his children and himself was incomprehensible to me. If he did commit the crime, what possessed him to throw his whole life away in a moment of passion and rage? How could it be explained? Was he mentally ill? Was he temporarily insane?

Or was O.J. not crazy in the legal sense but collapsed emotionally when his wife spurned his reconciliation offer, then allegedly murdered her with the lethal attitude, "If I can't have her, nobody will."

We know from released 911 tapes that he was a jealous, possessive, abusive husband. This final heinous act may have been provoked by Nicole's rejection of him as a Black man. Perhaps she, as a so-called ideal California blond, symbolized the American dream for O.J., and losing her revealed that he could never be totally accepted into the White world he coveted. But this is pure speculation.

I don't know enough about O.J. to know what motivated him. Any maybe he doesn't either. 

The lesson to be learned here is that domestic violence (usually males battering and murdering their female companions) must be acknowledged and prevented.

O.J., from news accounts, seemed to operate in a sexist, narcissistic manner, conveying that he was not only possessive but felt he owned Nicole like a piece of chattel...

O.J. mostly chose his own course and, if guilty, succumbed tragically to its pitfalls...

Alvin F. Poussaint M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Ebony Magazine
(September 1994)


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Home IS Where the Heart IS! The Story and Creation of Nicole's House...

For as well as enduring interest in the life and legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson, I also have a passion for the Regency world of the Poet Lord Byron, the occasional bar of chocolate and creating ‘Small Worlds’ in 12th scale! The Tales of which you can now follow here on Blogger!

However, as one of the most popular ‘Small Worlds’ is still Nicole’s House, I thought I’d share a ‘little’ more about this unique 12th scale abode…


"I just don't see how our stories compare -I was so bad because I wore sweats & left shoes around & didn't keep a perfect house or comb my hair the way you like it - or had dinner ready at the precise moment you walked through the door or that I just plain got on your nerves sometimes.

I just don't see how that compares to infidelity, wife beating, verbal abuse...




I just don't think everybody goes through this....
I called the cops to save my life whether you believe it or not.."

These are the harrowing words written by Nicole shortly before her brutal murder on Sunday June 12 1994 in the garden of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles as her two children were sleeping.


Nicole's former husband NFL hero and celebrity O.J. Simpson was subsequently arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder and that of her friend Ronald Goldman in a relentless blaze of publicity the following year.

I began to read about Nicole shortly after her murder in 1994, she was the focus for the research and publication of my BA thesis in 1999 and I have been reading about her ever since.


She was also the inspiration behind the creation of my "California style" ocean-front house 875 South Bundy Drive June 1994 and now known as 'Nicole's House'


In June 1994 and shortly before her brutal murder, Nicole was making plans to leave her home at 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles in order to escape the abuse and obsession that had characterised her long relationship with O.J. Simpson and only days before her death, Nicole had seen a beach house in Malibu available for rent and she was excited and positive at the prospect of a move there with their children.

'Nicole's House' is a House created in Miniature that tells several narratives:


Firstly, there is a recreation of some of the principle rooms at 875 South Bundy Drive as they were discovered in the early hours of Monday June 13 1994 as the investigation into the murders of Nicole and Ronald Lyle Goldman was underway.



The additional rooms are created as a tribute to the style and essence of Nicole who loved the style of interior design that has come to typify the "California Look".





Finally, as we know that Nicole was planning a move to a beach house in Malibu, 'Nicole's House' is a poignant reminder of "what could have been".





To learn more about the life of Nicole and the creation of this small abode, please follow the link: Nicole's House. The Story. The Creation...

Adieu for now!
Tee

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Dammit! We Are ALL Guilty! Please Recollect Nicole Brown Simpson...

On Friday June 10, two days before she was murdered, Nicole Brown Simpson seemed in uncharacteristically high spirits. "I want to talk to you," she told her close friend and neighbor Ron Hardy over the phone. "A bunch of things have happened, and I'm excited."


Hardy was delighted to hear it. This buoyant, chatty 35-year-old woman was far different from the furtive Nicole who would abruptly cancel plans and drop out of sight for days or who would grow wary and timid in the presence of her ex-husband O.J. Simpson

Nicole invited Hardy to dinner on Monday. "I thought about it all weekend," says the 37-year-old Los Angeles bartender. "I was praying that she had made the decision not to see O.J. and that she would get on with her life."

Hardy, of course, never got to hear Nicole's plans. Just after midnight on June 13, she was found dead near her friend Ron Goldman outside her Bundy Drive town house in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. With multiple stab wounds in her neck and chest, she was nearly decapitated.


Today, eight months after the horrendous double murder and four weeks into O.J. Simpson's trial for that crime, many of those close to Nicole feel a wrenching self-approach. Although the jury has yet to decide if O.J. Simpson is guilty of homicide, evidence introduced at his trial clearly indicates that Nicole Simpson had long been a victim of domestic abuse.

"Dammit," says one friend, "we are all guilty - all of us who knew them." The Brown family is also in despair that they failed to comprehend the seriousness of the abuse. "They keep asking themselves," says Jean Vaziri, a close family friend, "Why didn't we see it coming?"

Harsh though the question may be, it is impossible to dismiss. There were, after all, many witnesses to the abuse in the Simpson marriage. Friends and family members say O.J. humiliated Nicole in bars and restaurants. Neighbors heard him screaming threats and obscenities. The Brown family saw photographs of her battered face following the infamous 1989 New Year's Day beating. The police, answering her 911 calls, saw a beaten and frightened Nicole and had no doubt that O.J. was her tormentor.

Even after their 1992 divorce, following seven turbulent years of marriage, the situation didn't improve. When Nicole moved to her Gretna Green house, O.J. shadowed her, according to the prosecution, at one point standing in the bushes and peering through the window as she made love to a new boyfriend.

"I'm scared," Nicole later told her mother, Juditha. "I go the gas station, he's there. I'm driving, and he's behind me."


Through it all, however, Nicole, who was ambivalent about seeking outside help, was also let down by those who could have provided it.

"One of the most amazing things to me when you study the Simpson case is that it appeared intervention failed at every level," says San Diego deputy city attorney Casey Gwinn, who runs that city's domestic violence unit. "People didn't write reports when they went to the house. Simpson was not put in jail. Friends and family didn't confront him."

In many ways, though, Nicole's situation is a classic example of domestic abuse among the wealthy and prominent.

"There's a myth that domestic violence is more common in the middle and lower classes," says Joan Farr, director of Metro-Dade Family and Victim Services in Miami. "In fact, it is simply more visible in those classes. They're more likely to call the police or turn to a public agency for treatment. A person in a higher economic bracket can go to a private doctor or psychologist."

And spousal abuse is considered shameful, not a topic for polite conversation.


"We respected her privacy," says Eve Chen, a friend of Nicole's since high school, "and it killed her."


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Happy Birthday Dear Nicole!

In a exclusive interview Tanya revealed the bittersweet details of how the family will celebrate Nicole's 36th birthday to keep her memory alive for her children who are living with their grandparents.

Tanya also provided a rare glimpse into the youngsters' lives without "Mommy" - and she shared their fond recollections of Nicole, along with the touching photos on these pages...


"Nicole is still alive in our house and there are countless pictures around - even a four foot high oil portrait above the fireplace.

"I'll never forget her last birthday, when she had pneumonia. My mother went to Nicole's house to help get Sydney and Justin ready for school the following morning. but when my mother got up that morning to help them, Nicole dragged herself out of bed to make the school lunches.

"She was a very caring and thoughtful mother who always put her children first. They were the two most important people in her life."

The National Enquirer Magazine 
(April 25 1995)

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Can't Forgive! A Brutal Murder and a Sister's Grief...

The sister of Ron Goldman, who was brutally murdered along with OJ Simpson's ex-wife, has made the shocking revelation that she almost killed OJ Simpson in revenge.

Kim Goldman revealed this week how she came within inches of taking out Simpson a year after he was found not guilty of stabbing to death her brother and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Kim Goldman told the National Enquirer: 'In 1996, (Simpson) walked in front of me while I was driving my car.
'I thought ''I can kill him, right here, right now.'' I never thought ''avenger'' and ''assassin'' were words to describe me, but in that moment they were.'

As she revved her car's engine and looked straight at Simpson, Ms Goldman's feelings of rage ebbed away.

She said: 'I am not a killer, and he is. I have appropriate hatred toward the man who stabbed my brother in the heart and left him for dead!'


The 43-year-old mother-of-one, who lives in Valencia, Caifornia, is the director of the nonprofit SCV Youth Project, which provides counseling and support for young people.

Her e-book on the murder of her brother, Ronald was published on Tuesday. Her memoir, Can’t Forgive: My Twenty-Year Battle with O.J. Simpson, chronicles her decades-long legal pursuit of Simpson.


In the book, Ms Goldman admits that she dreams about torturing Simpson.

Simpon's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, a waiter, were stabbed to death outside her Brentwood home on June 12, 1994.

In the days following the murders, the net began to close on Simpson, considered the prime suspect, after it emerged that his wife has suffered mental and physical abuse at his hands for years.

On June 17, the day that Simpson was supposed to turn himself over to police on murder charges, the former football player led officers on an infamous low-speed pursuit in a white Ford Bronco in California. Simpson finally surrendered to police and was jailed awaiting trial.

The internationally publicized trial of O.J. Simpson lasted one year and was dubbed the 'trial of the century'.

Ms Goldman writes in her memoir how she attended every day of Simpson's murder trial and the stress almost drove her to suicide.
She said that only the thought of her father Fred, struggling with the weight of his own grief, pulled her back from the brink.

In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and Mr Goldman. The 43-year-old said that watching Simpson go free left her feeling furious and betrayed.

Ms Goldman, who at the time was dating First Lady Hillary Clinton's make-up artist, said that her boyfriend conveyed messages of support from the White House.

She wrote in her book that Mrs Clinton passed messages of sympathy to her family and that when the Goldmans went to meet President Clinton, he said that was proud of how they had conducted themselves throughout the trial.

Following the criminal trial, the Goldman and Brown families pursued Simpson in civil court for $33.5million in damages and won.

The families have only see around 1 per cent of the money - but Ms Goldman says she will never stop trying to get the award from Simpson, not because they want to be rich but because she wants to leave him destitute.

In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges in what he said was an attempt to retrieve memorabilia and personal items from two sports collectibles dealers in a casino hotel room.

Ms Goldman said that this news left her rejoicing that Simpson's bad karma had finally caught up with him.


 Simpson was sentenced to between nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison. Ms Goldman sent him a card when he was jailed which read: 'Congratulations on your new home. Hope you enjoy your new digs! From the Goldman family.'

Simpson, now 66, was granted parole on some convictions last July however he must serve at least four more years. His conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of his ex-wife and Mr Goldman's murders.

Ms Goldman, who only refers to Simpson as 'The Killer' in her writing, says that her only relief now will come from his death.

However she told SignalSCV that writing her book has brought with it a peace of sorts.
'Writing has been important to me in finding my voice and taking back control of my life,' she said. 'I wanted people to know the parts of me that are important and strong, rather than (the victim).'


Can't Forgive.
My 20 - Year Battle with O.J. Simpson
Kim Goldman
(BenBella Books May 2014)
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