During the months after her separation from O.J., Nicole Brown, as she preferred to be known, cut a glam figure, running errands in skintight Lycra exercise togs and working out at the Gym with the muscle-bound young men of Brentwood, among them Ron Goldman.
What can you say about poor Goldman?
He may have hoped to use Brown’s connections to get a restaurant going. The two nightclubbed together, and by now, of course, everyone knows of Nicole’s fondness for throwing back tequila and dancing until the wee hours.
Her detractors point to this as evidence of dissolution. More likely, she was giddy after having spent fifteen years under the thumb of O.J. Simpson.
Why did Nicole surround herself with the vacuous likes of Kato Kaelin and Ron Goldman?
She probably enjoyed sticking it to her ex. She probably also enjoyed being around men who were adoring and pliant and, above all, young.
Regardless of the media’s fondness for portraying her as a slightly older version of the teen whom O.J. lifted from obscurity, Nicole Brown was in a mid-thirties.
Her later photos betray crow’s-feet and incipient crepe neck. She was edging toward that time of life when a woman, if she is lucky, “looks awfully good for her age.”
Nicole may have been in a grip of a certain desperation to recover lost years.
She did not recover them very successfully.
Whatever satisfactions she enjoyed during the thirteen months of her liberation from O.J. were offset by financial worries.
Although she received $10,000 a month in child support, plus a divorce settlement of more than $400,000, she was unable to sustain the life to which she had been accustomed.
In the early months of 1993, Nicole started seeing a West Hollywood therapist who suggested that her “body language” might have encouraged O.J. to hit her. She spent four sessions trying to correct that, then began intensive counseling to boost her self-esteem.
At the end of it, she announced to friends, “I want my husband back.”
According to Paula Barbieri, the Victoria’s Secret model with whom O.J. occupied himself during the separation and divorce, Nicole began pursuing O.J., “writing him letters and showing up places.”
O.J. reportedly hesitated, but not for long. The divorce had humiliated him even more than his arrest for spousal battery.
They began “dating” again around March 1993. O.J. was exuberant about the reconciliation, which, he doubtless felt, would set the record straight: The Juice never lost his woman.
What precipitated the final breakup is not known.
Browne and Francis, authors of Juice, report the Simpsons’ cook as saying that the couple had been to Spago, where a couple of men began flirting with Nicole. By the time they got home, O.J. had turned into a “vicious, terrifying monster” who tore of her dress and called her a “slut.”
This version has the overheated quality of a bodice ripper. A likelier scenario, supported by intelligence from the AA circuit, is that Nicole was bringing her drug-taking under control and could finally make a sober decision.
Is this the moment O.J. decided on murder?
I don’t think so. I doubt that O.J., addled with ego and drugs, ever heard the word no.
Right up until the end, he thought there was room to cajole, intimidate, and otherwise manipulate Nicole into a reconciliation.
Theresa Carpenter Esquire Magazine (November 1994)