Earlier this year, Ryan Murphy's drama The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story placed a strong focus on the alleged history of domestic violence between Simpson and his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson. Although ESPN's docuseries O.J.: Made In America is about far more than the trial of the century, it still gives it a decent amount of coverage to the trial, which ended with Simpson being found not guilty of the murders of Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Prosecutors argued that Simpson's history of alleged spousal abuse gave him motive and although Simpson was only arrested once during their marriage, the state claimed that many incidents went unreported, unpunished, or both. O.J.: Made in America uses Nicole Brown Simpson's diary entries about alleged abuse to bring those claims back to the surface, as well as claims from her friends and family members that Simpson was a long-time abuser.
According to Philly.com, the diaries were found in Brown Simpson's safe deposit box, which contained a number of a chilling items including photos of her bruised face and apology letters allegedly from Simpson. The outlet described a number of disturbing diary entries, in which she recounted alleged incidents of physical and verbal abuse. For example, she claimed that Simpson beat her during sex and called her a "fat ass" during one of her pregnancies, demanding that she get an abortion.
Another entry claimed there was an incident in which Brown Simpson accused her husband of infidelity after finding an earring in their bedroom. The Philly.com article quotes the claims in her diary: "He threw a fit, chased me, grabbed me, threw me into walls. Threw all my clothes out of the window into the street three floors down. Bruised me." She also wrote of multiple alleged beatings, including in a New York hotel room and after a gay man kissed their son. In another entry, Brown Simpson claimed that Simpson threw her out of a moving car.
These diary entries were not admissible in the criminal trial because they were considered hearsay evidence, according to The Los Angeles Times. However, Simpson was questioned about them in a deposition leading up to the civil trial in which he was found "liable" for both murders. During the deposition, The L.A. Times article reported that Simpson responded to the diary entries. He denied that the abusive encounters described in Brown Simpson's diary ever occurred and and told Fred Goldman's attorney that, "I never would have said that, ever," when asked if he pressured her to get an abortion.
When Simpson was asked why his ex-wife would have written about these incidents if they weren't true, he first answered, "Maybe she was feeling that way." When his attorney intervened, he changed his answer to, "I don't know." He also suggested that Brown Simpson's imagination meant she "was good at making up games and, you know, writing stories with the kids," The L.A. Times reported.
Hearing excerpts from these diary entries is upsetting enough, but seeing them in Brown Simpson's own handwriting makes parts of O.J.: Made in America especially painful.