Stories from Nicole's House...

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!

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)

A Brutal Murder and a Sister's Grief...

The youngest sister of Nicole Brown Simpson has opened up about her sister's brutal murder after 20 years and revealed the moment she knew that the man she called 'Uncle OJ' was responsible for her death.

Tanya Brown, now 44, described how her family's lives were forever shattered on the morning of June 13, 1994, when they found out that Nicole, recently divorced from OJ Simpson, had been stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home along with her friend Ronald Goldman.

She said the grief-stricken family watched on TV as her sister's bloodied corpse was loaded into a van to be taken to the morgue. Ms Brown said she held her mother's shaking hands as she wept: 'That's my kid.'

Ms Brown said that at first she did not suspect Simpson, the former football player turned actor, whom she knew as a beloved brother-in-law.

Simpson and Ms Brown married in 1985 and had two children Sydney and Justin. In 1989, the former football player pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge against Simpson. They divorced in 1992.

After her sister's death, Ms Brown said she was exposed to the harrowing truth - that Simpson was a violent man who had mentally and physically abused her sister for years.

In the days following the murders, the net began to close on Simpson, now considered the prime suspect.

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.

Tanya Brown revealed to People that during this bizarre car chase, which was broadcast to millions on live TV across the major networks, her father and elder sister Denise were on the phone trying to talk Simpson out of killing himself as he rode along with a gun to his head.

Ms Brown told the magazine: 'What many people don't know is that he called us during the chase and Denise and my dad tried to talk him down.

'''Don't do it, Juice!'' Daddy urged him, trying to get him to put the gun down and pull over. ''Think of your two kids, Juice! Don't do it!'''

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'. In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and Mr Goldman.

The anguish for the victims' families did not end there. For Tanya Brown, her sister's brutal death unleashed years of depression and drug and alcohol abuse that culminated in her almost taking her own life in 2004.

Following psychiatric treatment and therapy, Ms Brown now says she has turned 'this ugly thing into something good'.

Now a life coach and mental-health advocate, she has recently written a memoir about the loss of her sister, entitled Finding Peace Amid The Chaos...

Finding Peace Amid the Chaos
My Escape from Depression and Suicide
Tanya Brown
(Langmarc Publishing March 2014)

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Twenty Years After THAT Verdict and the Protest Continues!

This is THE post that I should have shared on October 3 2015 but I did not on account of a lack of time, natural light and inclination!

Despite the issues of time and natural light notwithstanding for as I had published six (yes, six!) stories about the anniversary of THAT Verdict by yesterday evening; the only inclination that remained was for me to crawl away into the dark night and watch a trashy movie with only a huge slice of cake for company…

And no, the trashy movie that I watched was NOT about the Simpson Matter!

For even though the Late (and great!) Dominick Dunne had once argued that the Simpson case was like a ‘great trash novel come to life, a mammoth fireworks display of interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy’; THE movie that I enjoyed featured quite a number of the above, although thankfully minus the bloodshed for the only ‘corpse’ at the finale was a metaphorical one!

However, enough of my Saturday evening television viewing habits and back to the matter in hand - THE Simpson Matter and the incredible realisation that yesterday, October 3 2015 marked the twentieth year since the reading of THAT verdict; you know, the one that begins with: "We the jury... find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, NOT guilty of the crime of murder... upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being..."

For it was on a cold and dark Tuesday evening and I was returning home from my flower shop in the City of York in a car packed with fellow travellers including school bags, grocery shopping and a 11-week old baby, (thankfully silent!) as I turned on the radio to listen to the reading of THAT verdict from some 5,000 miles away.

In her brilliant memoir Without a Doubt, prosecutor Marcia Clark shares the reaction of Simpson’s defence attorney to THAT verdict as ‘not the verdict I would’ve thought.’... You can say that again Bob Shapiro!

I was so convinced that I would still hear a ‘Guilty’ verdict despite those allegations of LAPD incompetence and the charges of racism that tried (and failed!) to obscure the powerful circumstantial evidence and Simpson’s long history of domestic abuse…

Alas, as it was not to be and at a distance of twenty years, I thought it would be interesting to share the reactions of some other Simpson supporters and detractors and of their feelings about THAT verdict that I have published on my other blogs and as I felt that a little mischief was entirely appropriate, some ‘creative’ imagery has also been included.

If you click on the links at the end of this post, you will be able to read the stories from Marcia Clark, Kris Jenner and Terri Baker. Mike Gilbert will take you behind the front door of Simpson’s former abode on Rockingham Avenue and you can join Dominick Dunne as he takes a walk along the tiled walkway at 875 South Bundy Drive.

I have also included a controversial essay by the fabulous Elizabeth Wurtzel from her book Bitch on my No Excuse for Abuse blog and of her observations about the complicated relationship between Nicole and Simpson.

Although I agree with her belief that Nicole’s death was a ‘stupid waste of a life of a woman’; I do NOT support her assertion that her death supported ‘well-intentioned but still fruitless attempts to make it into a clarion call for domestic-violence awareness’ and here's my reason why: for since 1994, I have been a witness to subtle and positive change that despite the divisive issues that had surrounded the trial of Simpson, Nicole’s tragic death was to illuminate a much needed awareness about domestic abuse and that many women who upon learning about Nicole’s life and death were to find a renewed strength and resolve to leave their abusive partners and this STILL continues to be the case, more than twenty years later.

Do you recall the ‘11-week old’ baby who slept his way through the reading of THAT verdict, I told you about? ....

Well, this is him in the image above and in his 17th year as THE poster boy for the Real Man Campaign in which to raise awareness about domestic abuse and on behalf of the UK charity Women’s Aid

The Nobel Laureate and political activist Elie Wiesal once said that “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

John Travolta, the Joy of Motherhood and a Quiet Abode... #RecollectNicole!

“I had just gotten back from the Cannes Film Festival where we won the Palme d'Or for Pulp Fiction, I was on this kind of high with a new career and then this American tragedy was happening.”
John Travolta

I discovered this quote by the former Saturday Night Fever groover as I was reading yet another news story about the making of the American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson which will be produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk and no, Travolta wasn't reminiscing about the world of the American Horror Story for which Murphy has been noted for his success but rather that of the trial of one Orenthal James Simpson who as we know was accused, tried and sensationally acquitted of the murder of his former wife Nicole and that of her friend Ron Goldman who in all probability was murdered for simply being in the wrong place at that time.

My intention was to have written a succinct piece about how within the plethora of news stories about the impressive cast of notable actors lined up for The People v. O.J. Simpson and of the people that they are set to portray but how Nicole and Ron barely even warrant a mention which is incredible when you remember that not only were they the victims of the crime but also the raison d'etre for this intended series!

However, as I got a little carried away with the word count, I have now posted my Not Just An American Crime Story musings on my Trial and Error blog…  

“Being a good mother was the most important accomplishment in Nicole’s life. It was the thing that mattered most to her.”
Tanya Brown

Although Mother’s Day was celebrated here in the UK last Sunday, I have shared a poignant story published in the May 16 1995 edition of the National Enquirer with a selection of wonderful images of Nicole with her children along with the memories of her youngest sister Tanya on this blog, which I hope you will enjoy.

I am also mindful that I have been rather quiet as of late with the creation of my two ‘Small Worlds’, Nicole’s House and a House on Rockingham; both of which are 12th scale abodes and both inspired by Nicole.

All I can say in my defense is that I shall be sharing some new images of the former very soon and that I am very much in the design process with the creation of the latter!

At Home With Mrs Simpson. The Story of Nicole's House...

However, until then you are very welcome to pop over to Nicole's House and enjoy the guided tour...

Until then, Adieu!
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