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Simpson Recounts Stormy Relationship With Ex-Wife

Courts: Confronted with her diaries in deposition, he describes a marriage rife with violence and infidelity.

March 02, 1996|TIM RUTTEN and HENRY WEINSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Simpson said he didn't know why Nicole had decided to abort what would have been their third child. Petrocelli pressed Simpson on whether she had decided to abort a pregnancy after that incident because she feared being struck or abused by him. Simpson replied that Nicole never told him that.

Simpson said Nicole's third abortion stemmed from a relationship after they separated in 1992. He said the father could have been one of two men she was dating but he wasn't sure which one. He said she had discussed this abortion with him and was "very emotional" about it.

Prosecutors in the double murder trial attempted to portray Simpson as an obsessive person who killed his wife at the culmination of an abusive relationship in which he was fixated on her.

During his own interrogation, Petrocelli asked Simpson if he, in fact, was "obsessive with Nicole."

"I don't believe so at all," Simpson responded.

On the other hand, Simpson said, "I think I'm a controlling person, period." Nonetheless, he denied that he was controlling with Nicole.

But then Simpson backtracked a bit, saying: "I think in general that I like my space. I like things the way I like things, and people who come into my life tend to conform to the way I do things."

Asked if Nicole conformed, he responded: "Yes. Not the last year we were together [1993-94], but certainly before, she did, yes."

At several points in the deposition, Simpson alluded to the fact that he now regards himself as having been a "battered" husband.

He said Nicole had hit him at times, but said he initially considered it "no big deal," and declined to call the police.

*

In his testimony, he cited one public incident in 1984, when Nicole drove by a restaurant Simpson was leaving and started "Frisbee-throwing" framed pictures of the two of them at him and "said something very unpleasant to the girl" he was talking to at the time. The next day, Simpson testified, he and Nicole Brown became engaged.

On one occasion five years later, according to Simpson, his wife, "just started hitting and kicking me, and I went into Justin's room. Why--I don't recall what the conversation was at this time, but I know she did until she got tired, because I just covered my groin and covered my--turned my back to her. And then another time she came in, and I was just laying on the bed, and she took a stack of books and just slammed them down on me."

Simpson said that Nicole hit him five or six times during their relationship and that he reported each of these incidents to his personal assistant, Cathy Randa, and told her to put them in a log. He said he had done this "because that was recommended to me by some police officer."

He said that this had occurred around the time of the 1989 incident, but that he did not recall the officer's name.

Just three months before the murders, according to Simpson's testimony, his housekeeper, Michelle Abudrahm, quit after being struck by Nicole. Simpson alleged that the incident occurred when his ex-wife brought their children and some friends to his Rockingham estate for a swim. Nicole, Simpson testified, objected to the housekeeper's presence because "she just gets on my nerves."

To avoid trouble, Simpson said, he gave Abudrahm the day off. He then went to turn on the Jacuzzi for the children. As he returned, he testified, "Nicole was walking out of the house shaking, saying, 'She drives me crazy. I hit her . . . I know it's wrong, but I just can't take that woman and I hit her.' "

Simpson then said he went into the house and found Abudrahm red-faced, crying and attempting to phone the police. "Look what she did to my face," Abudrahm allegedly said.

Simpson acknowledged in response to other Petrocelli questions that some of the couple's marital squabbles were precipitated by Nicole's finding "some phone numbers of girls" in her husband's possession, leading her to believe that he was having affairs with them.

He acknowledged that they quarreled over his "infidelity," (Petrocelli's word), but he said he didn't recall how often. He also said they quarreled over the extent of his travel.

Asked about one of their disputes about another woman, Simpson responded: "Typically she didn't want to straighten it out. She wanted to argue."

When Petrocelli pressed Simpson on how often he and Nicole argued, Baker interjected sarcastically, "It was scheduled at 10 every Monday."

Simpson maintained during his questioning that he was very concerned about his ex-wife's use of drugs and alcohol in the months before their final breakup, stressing that he had expressed his anxiety to Nicole's mother, Juditha Brown. In particular, he cited a January 1994 incident in which he said Nicole had an accident in her Ferrari while leaving a bar with her friend Faye Resnick.

He testified that Nicole told him that she was leaning over to ingest cocaine when she smashed into the car in front of her.

"I was real upset with Nicole," Simpson said. "She didn't want anybody to know, and I was upset with her."

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