Nicole Brown Simpson’s mother and father are haunted by shocking pictures like the dramatic courtroom photos showing their daughter as a battered woman.
In a heartbreaking interview with STAR, they made an emotional plea to other parents not to make the mistakes they did.
“For God’s sake, look beyond the surface. Don’t be fooled by bruises covered up with cosmetics,” says her grieving dad, Lou Brown.
His voice breaking, he adds: “Step in, before it’s too late.”
Lou and Juditha failed to act on their daughter’s violent marriage – even after it hit the headlines.
“We can’t help blaming ourselves,” says Lou. “We should have stepped in and done more.”
Now, they comfort themselves by keeping her memory alive.
“My wife and I loved her very much. We can hardly bear to think about the way she died.
“But I thank God that Nicole is no longer suffering. It’s one of the only comforting thoughts I have about her.”
Lou and Juditha say they agonize over what they could have done to help Nicole.
And they candidly admit they should have heeded the telltale signs of abuse in her stormy marriage to O.J. Simpson.
Now, every day at the so-called Trial of the Century, the parents are forced to relive the pain and torment of their loss – as they sit in shocked silence listening to the graphic descriptions of the abuse she suffered.
But away from the glare of the cameras, no one has yet seen the constant heartbreak the family faces.
Their anguish is worsened because prosecutors say Nicole was battered throughout the relationship – even after the 1989 attack when police were called to the Simpson estate and the whole country learned about O.J.’s violent temper.
In this first, exclusive interview since Nicole’s shocking murder eight months ago, members of the Brown family describe their pain and self-torture.
At their comfortable home in Monarch Bay, Lou’s eyes were red-rimmed and tired from crying as he talked softly, without bitterness, of the beautiful daughter he has lost.
He is haunted by the thought that he failed to see the danger signs in Nicole’s fragile marriage.
Sitting with his head in his hands, and surrounded by stacks of paperwork that signal the launch of his Nicole Brown Foundation, he retreats to a corner of his den to be alone and grieve.
Juditha, 63, says she and Nicole’s three sisters are determined to educate others about domestic violence.
“When I hear these tragic stories, I think of my Nicole,” she adds. “The least we can do now is to give advice and support to other women in her name.”
And it was Juditha, who had comforted Lou when he first came across the extraordinary document Nicole had drawn up in confidence for her lawyer, listing a catalog of violent incidents that marked the decline of her marriage.
The document, produced by Nicole at the time of her divorce from O.J. in 1992, was in one of dozens of boxes of personal items carried away from her condo on Bundy Drive two days after the murders. The boxes were stores in the Brown’s garage, and each night the family would steel itself to sort through bundles of paperwork.
Lou read his daughter’s damning words with tears in his eyes, and cursed himself for having been so blind in the past.
But Nicole was so proud and so fiercely private, they all say now, that she simply wouldn’t confide the truth in them about the abuse going on behind locked doors.
For the Brown family, it was incomprehensible at first that a strong woman like Nicole could submit to being treated badly in her own home.
“Now we have learned a lot about spousal abuse,” says Lou. “It’s frightening just how many people are in real danger. It’s too late for Nicole, but there are many, many others who can be helped.”
The family’s determination to fight domestic violence is matched only by their will to keep custody of their grandchildren.
Star Magazine (February 14 1995)