Nicole Brown Simpson Lived and Died in O.J. Simpson’s Shadow (2024)


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  • Who Was Nicole Brown Simpson?
  • Quick Facts
  • Early Years
  • Relationship and Kids with O.J. Simpson
  • Death
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Who Was Nicole Brown Simpson?

Nicole Brown Simpson was the ex-wife of former NFL great O.J. Simpson, with whom she had two kids. Their relationship began in the late 1970s when then–Nicole Brown was still a teenager. She and O.J. married in 1985, but their tumultuous and at-times abusive relationship ended in divorce seven years later. In mid-June 1994, 35-year-old Nicole and her 25-year-old friend Ron Goldman were found brutally murdered outside of her Los Angeles home. Her ex-husband quickly became the prime suspect in what was dubbed the “Trial of the Century.” In October 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the murders in a criminal trial, though he was later found liable for the deaths in civil court.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Nicole Brown Simpson
BORN: May 19, 1959
DIED: June 12, 1994
BIRTHPLACE: Frankfurt, West Germany
SPOUSE: O.J. Simpson (1985-1992)

Early Years

Nicole Brown was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, on May 19, 1959. Her German mother, Juditha, had met husband Louis while he was stationed there as a correspondent for the American armed forces publication Stars and Stripes.

The couple initially set up life in Frankfurt, where the Browns had two girls, Denise and Nicole. While their daughters were still toddlers, the family moved to the United States, settling in Garden Grove, California. There, the Browns had two more daughters, Dominique and Tanya.

Nicole had no problem adjusting to California life. The blonde beauty gravitated toward the beach as a young teen and was named homecoming princess at Dana Hills High School.

Relationship and Kids with O.J. Simpson

By age 18, Brown had begun working as a waiter at The Daisy, an upscale club in California’s Beverly Hills. It was there, in 1977, that she met O.J. Simpson, who was married at the time and in the waning years of a Hall of Fame football career.

By all accounts, the two quickly fell for each other despite their nearly 12-year age difference and soon began dating. Simpson divorced his first wife in 1979, clearing the way for his eventual wedding to Brown.

Simpson and Brown were married in February 1985 at his palatial home in the tony Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. Nicole subsequently took the name Nicole Brown Simpson.

The former NFL star was already a father of three but continued to have kids with Brown Simpson. The couple welcomed a daughter, Sydney, later in 1985. They had a son named Justin in 1987.

Nicole Brown Simpson Lived and Died in O.J. Simpson’s Shadow (2)

O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson had two kids, a daughter named Sydney and a son named Justin.

Brown Simpson was reportedly a devoted mother. She eschewed nannies, insisted on taking her children to dance and karate lessons, and welcomed family into her home for holiday events and birthday parties. Along with her familial duties, she started a small interior decorating business that only counted her husband and his friends as clients.

Her marriage, however, was far from serene. Simpson wasn’t just unfaithful; he was abusive. Friends and relatives later recounted seeing bruises on Brown Simpson’s body, and police were called to their home multiple times. Among the numerous abusive incidents was a 1989 New Year’s Eve fight in which Simpson allegedly threatened to kill her and left her with a split lip, black eye, and other bruises. In the aftermath of that alarming night, he was charged with spousal battery and pleaded no contest. A judge sentenced him to 120 hours of community service, a $200 fine, a $500 donation to a domestic violence shelter for women, and two years’ probation.

The couple then issued a statement, saying, “Our marriage is as strong as the day we were married, if not stronger.” Simpson had also downplayed the events in an ESPN interview. “Hey, you know, we had a fight. We were both guilty. No one was hurt,” he said. “It was no big deal—and we got on with our lives.”

The facade finally collapsed in 1992. After years of enduring a volatile, abusive relationship and her husband’s extramarital philandering, Brown Simpson filed for divorce that February. The agreement was finalized on October 15, 1992.

Newly single and on her own, Brown relished her new life. Armed with a more than $430,000 settlement from her divorce and $10,000 a month in child support, she zipped around Brentwood in a white Ferrari and often went out dancing with friends, though she remained devoted to her kids.

However, a seemingly paranoid Simpson was known to follow her, reportedly even hiding out in the bushes of her yard. “I’m scared,” Brown at one point told her mother. “I go to the gas station, he’s there. I’m driving, and he’s behind me.” The couple attempted to reconcile, though by late spring 1994, Brown told friends she was ending the on-again, off-again relationship.


In the early morning hours of June 13, 1994, Brown Simpson and her friend, a 25-year-old waiter and model named Ron Goldman, were found stabbed to death outside of her Brentwood condominium on South Bundy Drive in Los Angeles. Authorities later determined they were murdered between 10:15 p.m. and 11 p.m. on June 12. Brown Simpson was 35 years old and later buried at Ascension Cemetery in Lake Forest, California.

Police were called to the scene after a passerby discovered the bodies. Later on June 13, authorities questioned O.J. Simpson as a “potential witness.” Brown Simpson and her ex-husband had seen each other the previous day at their daughter’s dance recital. After talking with police, the former athlete left the station, but it wasn’t long before he was back on their radar, this time as a murder suspect.

The criminal charges set into motion a nationally televised police chase then an emotional and racially charged trial that lasted more than eight months. The so-called “Trial of the Century” ended in October 1995 when a jury acquitted Simpson of all charges.

The families of Brown Simpson and Goldman gained some measure of vindication in February 1997, when her ex-husband was found liable for their wrongful deaths in a civil trial. He was ordered to pay $8.5 million in compensatory damages to the Goldmans, as well as $25 million in punitive damages to be split between the Goldmans and Brown’s children.

In April 2024, interest in Brown Simpson and her relationship with her controversial ex-husband spiked following Simpson’s death from cancer.


  • I’m afraid this man will kill me some day.
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