For sixty years, whenever the name “Mrs Simpson” was mentioned, it belonged, irrevocably, to Wallis Warfield Simpson, the lady from Baltimore for whom King Edward VIII gave up his throne in 1936 and shook the British monarchy to its roots.
No longer. Now the name belongs, irrevocably, to the tragic and beautiful Nicole Brown Simpson of Brentwood, California, whose dreadful death on the night of Sunday, June 12, 1994, along with that of her friend Ron Goldman, has riveted this country for nine months. The nastiness of how she died and where she fell is the reason that gaze of the country is focused on a courtroom in downtown Los Angeles.
O.J. and Nicole Simpson were constantly photographed in happy poses, belying the truth of their real relationship. Has there ever been a murder case where there are more photographs and videotapes of the victim and the alleged killer?
New images appear almost daily in tabloids and magazines. In them, their lives look so enviable, so glamorous. They are always at wonderful parties in wonderful clothes, smiling and waving, or on wonderful trips, or at wonderful beaches, or gazing into each other’s eyes, or kissing each other, exuding sexuality. How perfect it looked. How rotten it was.
When he gets this crazed, I get scared… He gets a very animalistic look in him. All his veins pop out. His eyes are black, just black, I mean cold, like an animal.
Nicole Simpson to police who responded to her 911 call after O.J. Simpson kicked in her door.
Cici Shahian has two great friends, who were also great friends of Nicole’s, Robin Greer and the famous Faye Resnick, who wrote Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, the memoir that became a best-seller, although the Brown family has steadfastly withheld its endorsement of it.
One night Shahian invited me to have dinner with the three of them at her new apartment in a building in Beverly Hills where I lived in the ’70s. It was a strange feeling to look across the courtyard into my old apartment.
It was Shahian’s first dinner party in the new apartment, and she had hostess jitters, because she didn’t think her new stove was working properly. It worked fine. The lasagna was great. There was a fire in the fireplace, candles on the table, and candles on the mantel. We had a wonderful time.
All three ladies really loved Nicole. She was their friend, and they miss her. They laughed talking about her. They cried talking about her. They said that she always felt that she was unimportant, that she lived in O.J.’s shadow. He was always the star, the center of the universe.
Sometimes they forgot I was there and just talked among themselves, all speaking at the same time in louder and louder voices, understanding one another in the way that friends do.
Nicole, who had seemed elusive to me – a beautiful face with wary eyes in a vast array of photographs – began to emerge as a person.
They said she used to say “Hi, guys” every time she would meet up with them. All of them mimicked the sound of her voice and the wave of her hand as she said that.
They all said that Nicole knew that O.J. was going to kill her. She had told each one of them. It is a fact that haunts them all.
Dominick Dunne JUSTICE Crimes, Trials and Punishments (New York: Crown Publishers 2001)