Stories from Nicole's House...

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Secret Life of Ms. Brown, Trophy Wife, Murder Victim, Whatever...

The blonde fox in the white Ferrari.

That is how a screenwriter I know who lived in the same part of town as Nicole Brown Simpson - the poor man's Brentwood, a colony of lush little bungalows and starter condos in the flats south of Sunset - described the woman he used to see tooling around in her sporty little car, driving home after a run or a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or maybe just, as her license plate suggested, L84AD8 ("late for a date").

The point her was making in describing her this way was that he had no idea she was O.J.'s wife, no idea that her romantic affiliations would eventually be the death of her, or that she would ever be world-famous for any reason other than that he, like other guys he knew around Brentwood, thought she was a real hot mama. A hot tomato, I think, was the expression he used.

And I mention this only to dispel a myth that gained some currency - in fact, rich acceptance - during the couple of years or so that constituted the O.J. trial and its prelude and aftermath. It was a dismissive belief that Nicole Brown was somehow nothing special, just another SoCal beach babe, another girl who offers to show you her tan lines, a dime a dance, a dime a dozen. To me,  this was always ridiculous.

As many lovely starlets and beautiful beachcombers as you may find in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, in counties like Orange and Ventura, as many women as there may be waiting for rich husbands or a lucky break in those parts, I was certain as soon as I saw those first pictures of Ms. Brown that she was never among them.

She was also never going to marry a dentist. She was certainly never going to be a dentist. She looks too shielded and expensive to be bothered with such mundane things...

There is something offsetting and off-putting about Nicole in photographs, something eerie and otherworldly in her exceptional, heartrending beauty - beauty of the kind that one assumes, or at least hopes, expresses a spiritual truth greater that just good looks;  though of course it probably doesn't.

Nicole's face had grace, austerity, serenity, the snobbishness of a person rich with secrets, of one who has something to tell and isn't telling.

Which turned out to be the case.

True, Nicole's taste, at least in the public photos that we all saw over and over again - the most commonly repeated one was from the opening of the Harley-Davidson Cafe in New York in the autumn of 1993 - ran to ultra-sheen stretch Lycra, to the tartiest, tawdriest, tackiest mall-girl looks that never quite seem to have gotten out of the mid-eighties - and should have not have been worn by any woman out of her mid-twenties. 

The skirts are too short, the necklines too long, the fit always seems to be inspired by a tourniquet. But forget that stuff. Because the woman was physically just blessed. Her features are so regular, so even and smooth, by physiognomic standards possibly even perfect, with a straight nose, high forehead, sloped cheeks and such fine, fine bones.

And her hair has such shiny blondeness, while her expression is so blank, her eyes so far away: everything about this woman is so golden and frozen, stiff and perfect, just like a statue, a statuette, an Oscar, an Emmy, a trophy that O.J.'s acting was never going to win him.

She is a trophy wife, and in all her tanned bronzeness, she actually looks the part.

What I am trying to say is that it doesn't much matter to me what real refinements this woman, who was simple, would never acquire, that she wasn't educated, that to her a big goal achieved would have been owning a coffee bar in Brentwood.

It doesn't matter to me that her idea of "romantic" was to create a Calgon advertisement out of her bathroom and light scented candles all around the tub - or, for that matter, to arrange the same fiery display in the living room, or bedroom, wherever...

It doesn't much matter to me that Nicole wore real fur and fake leather, that in the late eighties her hair was feathered, that almost all the women she knew had silicone breast implants, that she liked to have a good time, that sometimes she had a few too many margaritas and often she danced with men she didn't know very well. All these issues of taste and aspiration and desperation matter to me almost not at all. 

Nothing matters, at this point, but still life and dead images of a woman who looks so fine and dignified and full of airs. Beauty like hers is greatly powerful, especially in a place like California, because far from being just another pretty face, a slice of sunshine and good cheer, Nicole is arch and strong to appearances, suggesting all kinds of dignity, all kinds of haughtiness.

And at certain times, if she made you really mad, I am sure that you would want to punch that face and make it go away. You would just plain want to bash it in.

That is how I know that O.J. is guilty...

Elizabeth Wurtzel
(Quartet Books Limited 1998)

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Oh Happy Day! 'Till Death Do Us Part...

Maybe I'm a Fool
To Feel the Way I Do
But I Would Play the Fool Forever
Just to Be With You Forever

I Believe in You and Me
The Four Tops

STAR - through friends of Nicole and industry insiders - has obtained a sneak peek at this extraordinary footage.

It tells the story of the first day of their marriage - a tragic union that ended in divorce seven years later, and that ultimately led to the most sensational murder case in American history.

The video opens with Nicole getting ready on Feb 2, 1985, for the big event at their Brentwood mansion, the same spot where O.J. surrendered to police after the Bronco freeway chase watched by millions.

Nicole, then 25, looks incredibly young and virginal. She's dressed in a white bathrobe and slippers with a bunny rabbit motif as she prepares for what she describes with a broad grin as: "The happiest day of my life."

Two of Nicole's sisters are seen helping her with her makeup and fussing around as she gets ready to slip into her wedding dress, which is carefully laid out on a bed. The traditional white wedding gown, with a formfitting lace bodice and high neck, shows off her wonderful figure.

As she awaits the arrival of O.J., a nervous Nicole announces: "It's funny because I'm so excited. I feel really weird."

A source who has seen the video tells STAR: "The quality of the film is astonishing. Those first shots of a radiant Nicole preparing for her big day are so childlike and innocent... Nicole looks like a girl who's looking forward to her first night of love with the man of her dreams."

Later, when they are standing side by side at the altar; O.J. looks at his wife and declares: "This is the best day of my life and I know it's going to get better." A proud Nicole replies: "It's so good... how could it get any better than this?"

The most poignant moment in the 45-minute ceremony comes immediately before Rev. Moomaw pronounces O.J. and Nicole husband and wife. A female gospel singer gives a slow rendition of the Four Tops song, I Believe in You and Me, and Nicole is almost moved to tears.

She gazes lovingly at O.J. as the singer delivers such deeply romantic lyrics as "I will never leave your side... I will never hurt your pride," and "I believe in miracles... And love's a miracle..."

When the minister announces to guests: "May I be the first to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. O.J. Simpson," there is a huge cheer. And then the fun begins.

O.J. and Nicole step onto a make-shift dance floor as the live band plays a slow, romantic number...

As they move around in a tight embrace, O.J. lip-synchs the words to the song: "Your love just happens to be mine..."

An elated O.J. with his beautiful bride leads a conga line of revelers around the tent. By that time, says the source: "A great number of guests were unsteady on their feet. A generous O.J. made sure that the champagne flowed continually."

One of the wedding's most riveting moments was the cutting of the cake, a touching scene at the time that now is taking on chilling dimensions - because of the knife murders of  Nicole and her waiter friend Ronald Goldman.

Said the source: "It was a pretty big cake, so obviously it took a fairly large knife to cut into it. When you see O.J. pick up the knife and then, with Nicole's hand on his, slice into this large cake, it sends a shiver down your spine."

And later, as guests toasted the happy couple with Dom Perignon champagne, Nicole's mother, Juditha, declared: "They will tell you it's the happiest day of their lives. It is also the happiest day in my life. They are two beautiful people. They are meant for each other."

Star Magazine
November 15 1994

Home IS Where the Heart IS! The Story and Creation of Nicole's House...

For as well as enduring interest in the life and legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson, I also have a passion for the Regency world of the Poet Lord Byron, the occasional bar of chocolate and creating ‘Small Worlds’ in 12th scale! The Tales of which you can now follow here on Blogger!

However, as one of the most popular ‘Small Worlds’ is still Nicole’s House, I thought I’d share a ‘little’ more about this unique 12th scale abode…

"I just don't see how our stories compare -I was so bad because I wore sweats & left shoes around & didn't keep a perfect house or comb my hair the way you like it - or had dinner ready at the precise moment you walked through the door or that I just plain got on your nerves sometimes.

I just don't see how that compares to infidelity, wife beating, verbal abuse...

I just don't think everybody goes through this....
I called the cops to save my life whether you believe it or not.."

These are the harrowing words written by Nicole shortly before her brutal murder on Sunday June 12 1994 in the garden of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles as her two children were sleeping.

Nicole's former husband NFL hero and celebrity O.J. Simpson was subsequently arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder and that of her friend Ronald Goldman in a relentless blaze of publicity the following year.

I began to read about Nicole shortly after her murder in 1994, she was the focus for the research and publication of my BA thesis in 1999 and I have been reading about her ever since.

She was also the inspiration behind the creation of my "California style" ocean-front house 875 South Bundy Drive June 1994 and now known as 'Nicole's House'

In June 1994 and shortly before her brutal murder, Nicole was making plans to leave her home at 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles in order to escape the abuse and obsession that had characterised her long relationship with O.J. Simpson and only days before her death, Nicole had seen a beach house in Malibu available for rent and she was excited and positive at the prospect of a move there with their children.

'Nicole's House' is a House created in Miniature that tells several narratives:

Firstly, there is a recreation of some of the principle rooms at 875 South Bundy Drive as they were discovered in the early hours of Monday June 13 1994 as the investigation into the murders of Nicole and Ronald Lyle Goldman was underway.

The additional rooms are created as a tribute to the style and essence of Nicole who loved the style of interior design that has come to typify the "California Look".

Finally, as we know that Nicole was planning a move to a beach house in Malibu, 'Nicole's House' is a poignant reminder of "what could have been".

To learn more about the life of Nicole and the creation of this small abode, please follow the link: Nicole's House. The Story. The Creation...

Adieu for now!

Dammit! We Are ALL Guilty! Please Recollect Nicole Brown Simpson...

On Friday June 10, two days before she was murdered, Nicole Brown Simpson seemed in uncharacteristically high spirits. "I want to talk to you," she told her close friend and neighbor Ron Hardy over the phone. "A bunch of things have happened, and I'm excited."

Hardy was delighted to hear it. This buoyant, chatty 35-year-old woman was far different from the furtive Nicole who would abruptly cancel plans and drop out of sight for days or who would grow wary and timid in the presence of her ex-husband O.J. Simpson

Nicole invited Hardy to dinner on Monday. "I thought about it all weekend," says the 37-year-old Los Angeles bartender. "I was praying that she had made the decision not to see O.J. and that she would get on with her life."

Hardy, of course, never got to hear Nicole's plans. Just after midnight on June 13, she was found dead near her friend Ron Goldman outside her Bundy Drive town house in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. With multiple stab wounds in her neck and chest, she was nearly decapitated.

Today, eight months after the horrendous double murder and four weeks into O.J. Simpson's trial for that crime, many of those close to Nicole feel a wrenching self-approach. Although the jury has yet to decide if O.J. Simpson is guilty of homicide, evidence introduced at his trial clearly indicates that Nicole Simpson had long been a victim of domestic abuse.

"Dammit," says one friend, "we are all guilty - all of us who knew them." The Brown family is also in despair that they failed to comprehend the seriousness of the abuse. "They keep asking themselves," says Jean Vaziri, a close family friend, "Why didn't we see it coming?"

Harsh though the question may be, it is impossible to dismiss. There were, after all, many witnesses to the abuse in the Simpson marriage. Friends and family members say O.J. humiliated Nicole in bars and restaurants. Neighbors heard him screaming threats and obscenities. The Brown family saw photographs of her battered face following the infamous 1989 New Year's Day beating. The police, answering her 911 calls, saw a beaten and frightened Nicole and had no doubt that O.J. was her tormentor.

Even after their 1992 divorce, following seven turbulent years of marriage, the situation didn't improve. When Nicole moved to her Gretna Green house, O.J. shadowed her, according to the prosecution, at one point standing in the bushes and peering through the window as she made love to a new boyfriend.

"I'm scared," Nicole later told her mother, Juditha. "I go the gas station, he's there. I'm driving, and he's behind me."

Through it all, however, Nicole, who was ambivalent about seeking outside help, was also let down by those who could have provided it.

"One of the most amazing things to me when you study the Simpson case is that it appeared intervention failed at every level," says San Diego deputy city attorney Casey Gwinn, who runs that city's domestic violence unit. "People didn't write reports when they went to the house. Simpson was not put in jail. Friends and family didn't confront him."

In many ways, though, Nicole's situation is a classic example of domestic abuse among the wealthy and prominent.

"There's a myth that domestic violence is more common in the middle and lower classes," says Joan Farr, director of Metro-Dade Family and Victim Services in Miami. "In fact, it is simply more visible in those classes. They're more likely to call the police or turn to a public agency for treatment. A person in a higher economic bracket can go to a private doctor or psychologist."

And spousal abuse is considered shameful, not a topic for polite conversation.

"We respected her privacy," says Eve Chen, a friend of Nicole's since high school, "and it killed her."