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THE SIMPSON LEGACY: LOS ANGELES TIMES SPECIAL REPORT : Twist of Fate / HOW THE CASE CHANGED THE LIVES OF THOSE IT TOUCHED : FAYE RESNICK : Nicole's Close Friend Sheds Party Life for a Quest

October 11, 1995|NORA ZAMICHOW

Faye Resnick has reinvented herself. Nix the party girl image. No more days spent shopping. Goodby, Brentwood. Hello, Beverly Hills.

Today, Resnick, a friend of Nicole Brown Simpson, is a writer with a message about womanhood, abuse, empowerment and spirituality. (Her literary influence: New Age author Marianne Williamson).

"I am a different kind of girl now," says Resnick, 38, who has begun going to church and attending a yoga class where her instructor is also a psychic healer.

Resnick has stopped drinking. She says she has kicked her drug habit; the only pills she pops are vitamins. Recently, she quit smoking.

Resnick--the woman who once careened so wildly, indulging her tastes for cocaine binges and designer clothes, dancing till dawn at exclusive clubs and jetting off for pina colada-besotted retreats at Cabo San Lucas--has launched a quest for purpose in her life.

It started with writing her first book, the first of the major O.J. Simpson books to hit the shelves. It was also the first book to spray mud on the much-polished image of O.J. Simpson, football great, and his stormy marriage. The best-selling book was chock-full of tidbits such as Resnick quoting the legendary sports hero telling her about Nicole: "I can't take this, Faye. I can't take this. I mean, I'll kill that bitch."

Overnight, Resnick became a celebrity. People shoved cameras in her face. They pointed at her in restaurants. She was fare for the New Yorker as well as the tabloids. She appeared in TV interviews.

She got $140,000, a cappuccino machine and an additional $100,000 for being a commentator on 10 segments of TV's "Hard Copy." (She says she also turned down scads of offers that could have netted her more money. She wanted to set aside money for a college fund for Nicole Simpson's two children but was rebuffed by Nicole Simpson's parents, she says; instead, she and her publisher, Dove Books, donated $10,000 to the Nicole Brown Simpson Foundation.)

Criticism of her motives wounded Resnick deeply, but as readers mailed her supportive letters something odd began to happen. Resnick began to believe in herself. Suddenly Resnick had a purpose: She would use her fame to become a force for the empowerment of women.

She co-wrote a second book, "Shattered," a New Age nonfiction work about women who suffer domestic violence and their journey toward recovery. It will be published this winter.

The advance was a comedown: $36,000, an indication that Dove Books doesn't think this book will sell nearly as well as her first.

As for the man whose fame catapulted her into the spotlight?

"I want nothing to do with O.J. Simpson," Resnick said. "I want that name so far behind me, I want it out of my life."

Is he mentioned in "Shattered?" Well, yes.

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