A Terrifying Independence Day!

O.J. Simpson battered his ex-wife Nicole for the last time just a few weeks before she was savagely murdered, STAR has learned.

It was the latest in a series of assaults that occurred throughout their stormy relationship – which friends now say was constantly filled with terror for blonde Nicole.

Over the years, Nicole often lied to her family and friends about being hit by Simpson.

One pal says: “I remember once, in the summer of 1990, when Nicole and O.J. attended a party and she was wearing a turtleneck sweater in what was probably 75-degree weather. When friends asked her why she was wearing a sweater in the middle of summer, she replied that her doctor told her she had a thyroid problem.

“That’s the reason I’m cold all the time,’ she said.”

But the pal says that just a few days later, she saw Nicole at the gym wearing a T-shirt.

“On her neck, I saw the faint out-line of a large bruise that she had attempted to mask with makeup. She was constantly covering up for O.J., protecting his image while she suffered immensely.”

The friends say that O.J. constantly tried to rule Nicole’s life – and flew into a rage anytime she did anything he didn’t like.

“She would tell me that she hit herself with a barbell in the gym by mistake, or that her body just bruised easily.

She told me things were perfect between her and O.J. and that she’d never felt happier.”

But close friends were aware that Nicole was lying and that things were less than perfect.

“They were doomed from the start,” an insider reveals. “They were like oil and water. They just didn’t mix. From the get-go, O.J. made it clear who was boss and demanded that Nicole be the perfect house-wife and mother.”

“He didn’t want to hear any of her opinions, dreams, goals or aspirations. Being the wife of a superstar had to be enough, and if she wanted more, she would have to pay with harsh words and a beating.”

Almost from the time they met, O.J. ruled her life in every aspect – even to the point of telling her what clothes she could wear and what friends she could have.

“If O.J. didn’t like what she was wearing, she would change clothes to please him,” says one pal. “And she was never free to have friends or be herself.”

Nicole was so controlled by Simpson that she once confessed:

“I’ve always told O.J. what she wants to hear.”

Tragically, the pattern of abuse continued after the marriage and Nicole became increasingly dominated by O.J.

Nicole was a teenaged waitress when she met the legendary football star. Within months, she dropped out of college because O.J. insisted she be with him.

“I only attended junior college for a very short time, because O.J. wanted me to be available to travel with him whenever his career required him to go to a new location,” she said in an affidavit filed during their divorce in 1992.

Despite O.J.’s efforts to rekindle the romance, Nicole eventually decided that they couldn’t get back together. She held her own personal Independence Day celebration at Mezzaluna, one of her favorite Brentwood restaurants, just hours before she was killed.

“She wanted to be free of him, she wanted to live her life with the children and raise them away from all this fiasco of the marriage,” says her cousin Rolf Baur.

“She wanted to have a happier, more peaceful life.”

Tragically, her new-found independence would last just a few hours.

Star Magazine (July 19 1994)

"We're All Stories, in the End." ~ Steven Moffat

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