O.J. Simpson Discussing His Domestic Abuse Charge Paints A Different Picture Than The Police Reports
O.J. Simpson's trial for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, of which he was found not guilty, put many claims about his marriage into the spotlight. However, one incident of alleged domestic abuse between O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson was public knowledge well before her death. As Part 2 of O.J.: Made in America will highlight and the Los Angeles Times reported, the Los Angeles Police Department went to Simpson's Brentwood mansion on Jan. 1, 1989 after a 911 call from Brown. Simpson did go to the court over the incident and the reports of what exactly happened are disturbing, though Simpson's own words about that night don't paint it that way.
The second part of the 30 for 30 documentary O.J.: Made in America will show footage of Simpson discussing the night of New Year's Eve 1989. The incident lead Simpson to plead no contest to spousal abuse, as reported by the New York Times, and was sentenced to community service and probation. The newspaper also reported that after he was sentenced, the Simpsons released a statement that said, "Our marriage is as strong as the day we were married, if not stronger." Years later, when the trial put Simpson's plea back into the spotlight, Robert Kardashian read a letter from Simpson in which he said, "I took the heat New Year's 1989 because that's what I was supposed to do. I did not plead no contest for any other reason but to protect our privacy, and was advised it would end the press hype."
But that wasn't the first time Simpson discussed the New Year's incident. According to the LA Times, during a July 1989 news conference after NBC announced that Simpson was to be a football analyst for the network, he said about the incident, "It was really a bum rap. We had a fight, that's all." Police reports from the night in question, however, are much more upsetting.
According to the same New York Times article, Brown Simpson was hospitalized for her injuries sustained on Jan. 1, 1989 and Simpson told the responding officers, "The police have been out here eight times before and now you're going to arrest me for this! This is a family matter! Why do you want to make a big deal of it? We can handle it!"
Even if you can ignore that Simpson says police have been to their home eight times before, descriptions of what allegedly happened that night make his comments hard to stomach. According to the police report, Brown emerged from the bushes outside of her home when the police arrived, crying, "He's going to kill me, he's going to kill me." The New York Times also cited that one police report said that Brown had a "cut lip, a swollen and blackened left eye and cheek, and a hand imprint on her neck," which Brown claimed was from Simpson kicking and slapping her.
It seems that this incident did not affect Simpson's career, as shown by the NBC gig and the fact that Hertz allowed him to continue to be a spokesperson for the car rental company. When The New York Times asked the Hertz Corporation in 1994 if they had known about Simpson allegedly abusing Brown a spokesperson had no comment, though according to the Washington Post, executive Brian Kennedy said that same year, "There was still some concern and we watched it carefully ... but after the press didn't make a big deal about it, and the slap-on-the-hand outcome ... we elected to keep going with O.J." Of course, his image was changed forever after the trial of the century put this incident and his entire life at the center of a media storm.