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The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson Recap: Episodes 1, 2

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Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson, Kris Jenner.
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Lifetime’s docuseries The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson shared new details of Nicole Brown Simpson‘s life before examining her tumultuous relationship with O.J. Simpson.

The first two installments of the four-part docuseries, which premiered on Saturday, June 1, featured interviews from Nicole’s star-studded friends such as Kris Jenner and Faye Resnick  and members of her family.

Nicole and O.J. were married from 1985 to 1992 and welcomed two kids: daughter Sydney in 1985 and son Justin in 1988. Two years after the divorce, Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were fatally stabbed outside of her home in Los Angeles. O.J. was named as the primary suspect in the case but was ultimately acquitted on the murder charges in 1995 after a high-profile criminal trial. The athlete, who died of prostate cancer at age 76 in April, was found liable for Nicole and Goldman’s deaths after their families sued him in a civil trial.

While reflecting on Nicole’s tragic death, her sisters recalled the warning signs.

“We would have our conversations and she would say, ‘Yeah we got into an argument last night. But it was no big deal.’ Was there something I should have picked up on?” Dominique Brown said during Saturday’s installment of the doc. “I probably will always think that. Was she sending me some subtle hints that something was going on? I don’t know.”

Dominique added: “Which makes me think how everyone needs someone to talk to. And I don’t think she had someone to talk to.”

The third and fourth installments of the Lifetime Doc, which air on Sunday, June 2, are expected to cover Nicole’s murder, O.J.’s trial and the aftermath of the scandal. The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson has relied heavily on snippets from Nicole’s diary, videotape footage from the 1996 civil trial deposition, audio from Nicole’s 911 calls and firsthand accounts from the police to shape their coverage.

Keep scrolling for a breakdown of revelations from part 1 and 2 of The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson:

O.J. Simpson’s Marriage to Marguerite Whitley

Nicole Brown Simpson Doc Addresses O.J. Simpson Relationship, Kris Jenner Interview and More Revelations
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The doc addressed rumors that O.J. athlete was abusive toward his first wife, Marguerite Whitley. The first confessional highlighted Lawrence Schiller‘s experience as O.J.’s neighbor in the ’60s, including claims about O.J.’s temper. Schiller claimed it was the “talk of the neighborhood” about how O.J. would “push and shove” Whitley in public.

Retired Los Angeles police officer Terry Schauer also discussed visiting O.J.’s home after receiving a call about domestic violence.

“It was in a residential neighborhood that is off Mulholland Drive and west of the San Diego Freeway. We got to the home and we were met at the door by a woman. She had got into an argument with her husband and during the course of the argument he became violent with her,” Schauer recalled. “He struck her and as I recall, he pulled out some of her hair. My memory is that there was a clump of hair on the floor in the entryway of the home.”

Schauer said O.J. and Whitley’s kids — Arnelle and Jason — were present at the time.

“The children were there just being kids and standing around. They didn’t seem overly upset — that I recall. She was upset. He had left the scene. We spoke with her briefly but she didn’t want to go into a lot of detail about it,” he continued. “She just wanted to leave the house and she had no transportation. She declined a report and wouldn’t sign a report. She said, ‘My husband is O.J Simpson — the football player.’ She identified herself as Marguerite Simpson.”

Whitley’s sister, Veterdata Jones, added: “I believe they met in high school but she was originally dating (O.J.’s friend) Al Cowlings.”I was five years old and I was a flower girl at their wedding.”

According to Veterdata, O.J. and Whitley’s relationship changed once he found success in football. (O.J. notably played for the NFL for 11 seasons, primarily for the Buffalo Bills.) He later moved on with Nicole.

Lifetime featured a message at the end of the segment, which read, “Marguerite Simpson has publicly denied any domestic abuse by O.J. Simpson.”

“I think there was some defiance and anger and resentment on her part. And it overrode sound judgment and good sense perhaps. That is probably why the police had to come. It wasn’t because she didn’t have enough money to go,” Veterdata explained of tension between the pair when O.J. asked her to move out. “After they were divorced, she was walking through a department store and she saw O.J. carrying a bunch of bag and Nicole at his side. The divorce was not even a year old so that was hard.”

Veterdata added: “She came home devastated, really hurt and angry. It was like putting a dagger in her heart and turning it around. And I don’t meant to describe it like that but she was traumatized. She was very hurt.”

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The Early Days of O.J Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson’s Relationship

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Nicole’s loved ones saw red flags with O.J. immediately. According to Brown family friend D’Anne Purcilly, Nicole’s first date with O.J. concerned because she came home with “ripped” pants.

“The zipper was ripped and they were jeans. And (my ex-husband) David was like, ‘You can’t just rip jeans,’” Purcilly recalled. “I said, ‘Nicole, what happened to you?’ She said, ‘He got a little forceful.’ (But she didn’t want us to call the police). She said, ‘No, don’t. I really like him. I really, really like him.’”

Judie Manton, a friend of Nicole’s mother, questioned some of O.J.’s behavior, including requesting the whole family get manicures and pedicures. Manton referred to it as an example of O.J.’s “control” over them. Denise and Dominique, meanwhile, said O.J. would call their mother often to complain about Nicole.

“She’s just a girl from Laguna that met a guy that swept her off her feet. They fell in love and had this perfect little life. Nicole was really in love,” Dominique noted.

Nicole and O.J. got married eight years after they met. They welcomed their first child, daughter Sydney, in 1985. Nicole’s sisters said O.J. would often make comments about her weight during her pregnancy including that she was a “fat ass” who needed to go on a “diet.”

“She loved being pregnant except she got really heavy and he didn’t like that,” Dominique said before Denise added, “He was not nice to her when she was pregnant. I remember her telling me one time, ‘You are so lucky that you don’t have a husband and you don’t have someone telling you what to do.’”

Family friend Purcilly recalled a similar interaction, adding, “We were talking about delivering our babies. She said, ‘O.J. does not want me to deliver vaginally.’ And he didn’t want her nursing. That is sick. She said he wanted her to keep the same bod that she had. Those were all control things he did with her.”

Nicole and O.J.’s second child — son Justin — was born in 1988.

O.J Simpson’s Temper — and Abuse

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The first time Denise witnessed O.J.’s anger was during a family outing. They had dinner before returning to O.J. and Nicole’s home, which is when Denise made an offhand comment about how O.J. took her sister for “granted.”

“He started screaming at me. That went to walking from the bar, going to the staircase and throwing pictures of our family down into the foyer. This is the first time I ever saw him (so angry). Everything started pulsating on his face and it was glazed over eyes,” Denise claimed. “It didn’t even look like he was there anymore.”

She continued: “He comes back down the stairs and Nicole is standing there. He grabs her by the throat and puts her up against the kitchen door. He throws her out the door and she ends up on her boat with bloody elbows. Then he throws me out the door but I didn’t fall down. Then nothing was talked about anymore. Life went on as usual and it was never discussed again.”

Footage from the 1996 civil trial showed O.J. recounting the incident. His version was that Nicole threw the pictures and he didn’t yell at all that night.

Their neighbor Albert A. Aguilera recalled a story of O.J. allegedly attacking Nicole at a beach.

“She was facing him and he was facing the water. Then all of a sudden, he reached out and slapped her. With one arm, he knocked her down,” Aguilera alleged. “He bent down trying to console her. He was trying to stop her from crying. She was having none of it. She seemed to me like she was more or less hurt that he even did that. Maybe she was as surprised as we were.”

The issues with Nicole and O.J. reached its peak during a 1988 trip with her family to Hawaii for Christmas. While out for lunch, Denise recalled an encounter that left O.J. and Nicole at serious odds.

“There was a gay couple that was sitting at a table and they thought Justin was just beautiful. One of the guys kissed Justin on the forehead and it was so sweet and nice. As soon as we walked outside, all hell broke loose,” Denise recalled. “She ran out of the car and he was going crazy. I later read in her diary that he had her up against the wall on the balcony. He was hurting her.”

Footage from Cowlings’ deposition in the civil trial offered more details on the incident.

“O.J. supposedly said, ‘Why did you have that gay guy hold my baby?’ She said, ‘Why are you concerned with him being gay? You father is gay,’” Cowlings said in reference to O.J.’s father, Jimmy Lee Simpson, who was a well-known drag queen and who came out as gay before his death. “He got very upset with her.”

Days later, the police were alerted to a domestic violence incident, which ended with them documenting the abuse against Nicole.

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O.J Simpson’s Alleged Infidelity

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Throughout the first two episodes, numerous people accused O.J. of being unfaithful. The names being thrown around included actress Tawny Kitaen, who mentioned in archival interviews that she met O.J. when he was married to Nicole. (Their affair was officially uncovered during the civil trial for Nicole’s wrongful death.)

“When Nicole was giving birth to her second child, he had someone over at the house. Judi (Brown) was aware of his cheating. She told me who these people were. As Nicole became aware of his cheating, it disturbed her more and more,” family friend Manton claimed. “When she was in the hospital giving birth (to Justin), her husband had someone in her house and there were pictures of Nicole all over. He simply put them face down so the woman wouldn’t see them. (It) was sick.”

Denise, for her part, recalled driving around with Nicole looking for houses that allegedly belonged to O.J.’s flings.

Nicole Brown Simpson’s Attempt to Leave O.J Simpson

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The second episode picked up when the police got involved on New Year’s 1989. A 911 call played where Nicole could be heard speaking about the abuse. Footage from the civil trial testimonies showed Cowlings asking for a break after getting visually emotional at photos of Nicole’s injuries from that night.

Detective John Edwards testified about what took place in 1989 at the criminal trial for Nicole’s murder years later.

“This is a 911 radio call. According to the comments, the operator could hear a woman being beaten over the phone,” Edwards noted. “She collapsed and started yelling, ‘He is going to kill me.’ She had a cut approximately one-inch on her left lip. She had a swollen right forehead and her left eye was starting to blacken. She had a hand imprint on her throat.”

Edwards photographed Nicole’s injuries, which were shown on screen. Denise said Nicole asked her to take photos as evidence as well days after the incident.

Despite the abuse, Nicole’s mother encouraged her not to leave O.J. over “episodes of bad behavior” so their family could remain intact. There were letters featured in the doc where O.J. apologized to Nicole for harming her in 1989.

“I think she wanted everything to work so bad,” Domonique noted. “That’s why she continued getting back together with him because she hoped it would be what she expected it to be.”

It took a few more years — until 1992 — for Nicole to decide to leave O.J. She asked friend Robin Greer to help her find a home and break the news to O.J. As their marriage was coming to an end, rumors started to surface about Nicole’s alleged affair with O.J.’s friend Marcus Allen.

“It was one of those relationships that turned from he was comforting her through her divorce and I think it was a natural thing that shouldn’t have happened.” Resnick recalled. “It was very hard to understand why she would go down that road. She felt like he had taken so much from her that she didn’t owe him anything. I was nervous for her.”

After her split from O.J., he allegedly kept stalking and visiting her house. Nicole made multiple 911 calls to report the incidents.

“He was kind of spying on her a lot. Because he was realizing that she was becoming happy. He was like stalking and hiding in the bushes. Actually in the bushes,” Resnick shared. “She would say, ‘Be careful what you say. He could be right next to us. I saw him last night in a bush. I don’t want to get him upset because he is watching all the time.’”

A 911 phone call from 1993 showed Nicole screaming for help as O.J. yelled at her for having a man named Keith over. O.J. accused Nicole in the audio of kissing Keith, which he saw while watching her from outside her home.

House guest Brian “Kato” Kaelin, who was heavily involved in Nicole’s murder trial, shared his side of the story as someone who lived with Nicole amid her split from O.J.

“When an argument was happening or was brewing, I could sense it. The kids would come to my room sometimes,” Kaelin noted before addressing the 1993 incident. “I was coming back home. I got to the house and the doors of her house were broken. The hinges were broken.”

Los Angeles police officer Spencer Marks was on the scene in 1993, sharing in the doc, “She told me that there had been ongoing problems. Then she said, ‘I know for a fact he is going to murder me one day.’”

Nicole ultimately reconciled with O.J. because she knew his behavior wouldn’t stop.

“She says, ‘He is never going to leave me alone. I am never going to get rid of him. I might as well go back to him,’” Denise shared. “Those were her words to me.”

The duo called it quits for good by May 1994 but Nicole was still scared of O.J. Da’Anna specifically recounted a conversation she had with Nicole before her death.

“Nicole said that she had fears of being attacked from behind and being slashed by a knife,” she detailed. “Couple of years down the road when they were having really difficult times, she said, ‘Whenever we have these big fights, he would say to me I am going to chop you up on little pieces and bury you up on Mulholland and no one will know where you are. Not even your children.’”

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Nicole Brown Simpson’s Friends — Including Kris Jenner and Faye Resnick — Speak Out

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“I’m Kris Jenner. When we met, it was a really fast friendship because Robert (Kardashian) and O.J. were so close. One of my best memories of Nicole was when she would climb up on the roof at Christmas time and do her own lights,” Jenner shared. “That would amaze me and I would run home and try to do my own Christmas lights because I thought, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’”

The reality star continued: “I think Nicole was really careful and she didn’t befriend everybody. She was really warm and amazing but you got to know her first before she let you in. But when she did, she was super loyal and your friend for life.”

Jenner also joked about Nicole’s license plate L84AD8, adding, “That is her license plate. I think she just had a lot going on. It was just a cute kind of nod to, ‘I might be a little late.’”

Resnick discussed how she connected with Nicole through Jenner.

“I am one of Nicole’s very best friends. Or was. Kris said she wanted to introduce me to her girlfriend Nicole. She said, ‘You guys are going to get along great,’” she shared. “You meet Nicole and she was so inviting and so lovely and airy and natural. The three of us were the perfect storm.”

Meeting Other Key Players From the Murder Trial

Nicole Brown Simpson Doc Addresses O.J. Simpson Relationship, Kris Jenner Interview and More Revelations
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On the night of Nicole’s murder, her family went to a recital to watch her and O.J.’s daughter perform. He was at the event but wasn’t invited to dinner after the recital.

According to homicide detective Tom Lange, a limo driver named Allan Park was meant to pick O.J. up at his home but he didn’t appear home. A witness heard an argument between two men near Nicole’s property and spotted a white car leaving the premises. As another person was driving in the area, she saw O.J. speeding in his Bronco and nearly got run over.

After being called to the home, Lange found Nicole nearly decapitated while it was obvious there was a struggle with Goldman. Lange also pointed out that there were candles lit downstairs in Nicole’s home and a “romantic setup” in the bathroom.

“Just prior to the murders — 10 days before — Nicole tells her mom she is missing her keys to her home. The front door and the gate. She is concerned that O.J. may have taken them the last time he was there to see the kids,” Lange explained. “I looked at it as a possibility of evidence that she was concerned for her safety because she knew he was stalking her and following her.”

Simpson interacted with limo driver Park and Kaelin that night. Park said he kept calling the home until he saw a dark figure coming from the garage through the gate. O.J. then finally picked up.

Kaelin was living with O.J. after Nicole moved to a home without a guest house. Kaelin was on the phone when he heard thumps, which he thought were an earthquake. Kaelin interacted with the driver and O.J. outside and tried to help with a bag. Both the driver and Kaelin claimed O.J. didn’t want either of them touching the item, which was ultimately never found in the aftermath of Nicole’s murder.

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Robert Kardashian’s Theory About the Night of Nicole’s Murder

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O.J.’s former neighbor Schiller was also friends with Kardashian, who was married to Jenner from 1978 to 1991 and was later part of O.J.’s defense team. According to Schiller, Kardashian thought O.J. became aware that Nicole was still allegedly seeing Allen the night of her death. (Allen was married to RHOBH alum Kathryn Edwards at the time.)

“The night of this tragedy when Nicole was killed, Marcus and his wife were to travel to a golf tournament. Later it became known that he missed the flight, his wife went alone and he took the next flight. Robert Kardashian told me that he believed that O.J. went to see Nicole and may have seen Marcus’ car driving away,” Schiller revealed. “If Kardashians theory is correct, you could see why OJ really flipped. To this day, Marcus has never said a word about O.J.”

Footage from the deposition for his civil trial showed O.J. denying that he knew anything about Nicole and Allen being together.

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.

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