In the aftermath of her death, the details of Nicole Brown Simpson's life became common knowledge for anyone following the trial of her ex-husband, O.J. Simpson, who was eventually found not guilty of her murder, as well as the murder of Ronald Goldman. Throughout the trial, the various states of the Simpsons' relationship were topics of argument and if you've been watching American Crime Story, you've seen these arguments unfold. In this week's episode, it is suggested that O.J. Simpson cheated on his first wife with Nicole Brown, so you may be wondering how Simpson and Brown really met.
According to the New York Times, Simpson married his first wife Marguerite L. Whitley in 1967. Both under the age of 20 when they wed, the couple legally divorced in 1979 after living apart for some time. The newspaper reported that their marriage had issues; as early as 1970, Simpson and Whitley looked to off-and-on trial separations to deal with them. Two years before the divorced was finalized, Simpson met Nicole Brown.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown was working at a club Simpson frequented called the Daisy, and her cousin Rolf Baur later told the newspaper that the relationship between 18-year-old Brown and 30-year-old Simpson heated up immediately. The publication reported that the divorce papers filed by Brown Simpson in 1992 asserted that Simpson demanded Brown quit school and move in with him after only a few months of dating. Nicole's sister Denise Brown told the New York Times about the early stages of their relationship, "She just loved O.J. She didn't care if he was a football player or a dirt digger. They were really great for each other." By that point, Simpson's first marriage was already "breaking up," according to the New York Times.
Nicole Brown and Simpson then married in 1985, and based on more recent comments, it seems that Simpson had affairs in both marriages. In 2014, recordings emerged of Simpson admitting his infidelities to his manager Norman Pardo. In a preview clip hosted by RadarOnline, Simpson said, “I was unfaithful to both of my wives, and it’s what I’ve regretted most in my life.”
During Simpson's civil trial in 2007, a letter was entered into evidence that showed Brown Simpson believed her husband saw other women while they were together. The full text of letter Brown Simpson addressed to her husband before their divorce appears on CNN, in which she wrote, "I made up with you all the time and even took the blame many times for your cheating. I know this took place because we fought about it a lot and even discussed it before we got married with my family and a minister."
According to The New York Times, Whitley withdrew from public life after her marriage to Simpson ended. And unlike many family members and close friends, she did not resurface during the trial and declined every interview request, so we have not heard her side of the story. But based on Simpson's comments to Pardo and family members' descriptions, it seems Brown and Simpson's relationship may have begun before Simpson was legally divorced, as portrayed on American Crime Story.