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THE SIMPSON VERDICTS : Nicole Simpson's Mother Says She Has Come to Terms With Acquittal : Interview: Juditha Brown won't say whether she and her husband will fight for custody of the children. O.J. Simpson 'is their father,' she says.

October 06, 1995|ANN CONWAY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CORONA DEL MAR — The mother of Nicole Brown Simpson said Thursday that she has come to terms with the acquittal of the man accused of murdering her daughter.

In an interview with The Times, Juditha Brown declined to say whether she and her husband, Lou, would fight to maintain custody of Simpson's two younger children, who have been living with their grandparents in Dana Point for the past 15 months.

Since Simpson was found not guilty of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman, the ex-football star has indicated a desire to be reunited with his children. On Wednesday, they spent the night with Simpson before returning Thursday to their grandparents' home.

"Blood is thicker than anything. He is their father," said Brown, 64.

Brown said that she will find it difficult if Simpson does not provide his two young children, Sydney, 9, and Justin, 7, with the kind of home life that Nicole Simpson wanted them to have.

The grandmother said the children are happy and busy despite their pain. She said she hopes the children have a home with "love, consistency, stability. . . . They can't have this with a nanny, a housekeeper, a father who is always on the road, probably looking for a girlfriend, a job or whatever."

Brown said her goal in coming months is to continue her work with the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation, established in December to fight domestic violence. "The verdict won't consume me," she said. "It can't. It's over. I have moved on already."

Still, Brown said it was extremely difficult to let go of her grandchildren Wednesday when they were taken to meet their father for the first time in more than a year.

After talking to her granddaughter Thursday afternoon, Brown said she felt better.

Sydney called to reassure her grandmother that she was feeling positive about the future after visiting her father.

"We will work it out," Brown quoted Sydney as telling her.

Brown said she will try not to worry about the adjustment her grandchildren must make. "It wouldn't do me one bit of good. . . . Anxiety doesn't do you any good."

Brown said she expects that Simpson will agree to leave the children in their current school for the time being.

Brown--who wore two angel pins as a symbol of her lost daughter--laughed as she told of the times she has shared with her grandchildren. She said that during their ordeal, she and her husband never spoke negatively about O.J. Simpson to his children. She said the children were happy when she told them their father had been found not guilty.

Brown regrets the publicity that has enveloped her family.

"We were such private people and all of a sudden we are out there in this limelight," she said. "We really don't know how to handle it. There are no rules."

Brown said she has survived the tumultuous events because of her faith in God and the example of her own mother.

"I had a very strong mother. My mother lost a daughter who was 21. She had a brain tumor. I watched my mother go through it, never thinking I would have to go through it."

Nonetheless, Brown said she almost forgot her faith when the verdict was announced. "It was my first doubt in my whole life. I said, 'God, where are you?' "

Saying she had not realized Nicole was a victim of spousal abuse, Brown recalled: "Four days before she died . . . she said, 'Mama, I've been an abused woman.' "

Brown believes that Nicole stayed in the marriage with Simpson for many years because there were so many good times.

"The passion was wild," she said. "They'd fight and make up."

With the verdict only two days behind her, Brown stressed that a new relationship with Simpson must be built for the sake of the children.

"I don't hate," she said. "Life goes on."

She has become painfully aware that her family is not alone in grief.

"Look how many people are murdered every day," Brown said. "I'm not the only who lost a child, whose child was murdered."

Expressing gratitude for the outpouring of support from both friends and strangers, she said: "I am not asking to be left alone anymore. But now we need people for the foundation, people who will help us."

Brown said she is looking forward to "living again. Just breathing the open air again."

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