Witnesses Testify that Simpson Beat Nicole
Contradicting O.J. Simpson's recent testimony that he "never" hit or beat ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, several prosecution witnesses in the wrongful death trial against Simpson have testified that Simpson did indeed beat Nicole. Simpson's friend Al Cowlings, visibility uncomfortable on the stand, testified that Nicole said Simpson hit her and caused the wounds visible on photos from 1989. Nicole had to go to the emergency room for the wounds, and Simpson later pleaded no-contest to charges of spousal battery.
Dog groomer India Allen testified that she saw Simpson hit Nicole in a parking lot in the early 1980s. Pharmacist Albert Aguilera said he saw Simpson slap Nicole and Nicole fall down on a beach in 1986. Family friend Donna Estes and tennis pro Jackie Cooper both said Simpson talked about his problems with Nicole and then-girlfriend Paula Barbieri during a weekend a few weeks before the murders of Nicole and Ron Goldman on June 12, 1994.
On videotaped testimony shown on December 4, Paula Barbieri said she broke off her relationship with Simpson by leaving him a phone message on the day of the murders. Barbieri testified that the messages Simpson left for her later in the day before the murders asked what went wrong between them and led Barbieri to believe that Simpson had received her "dear John" message. The prosecution theorized at the criminal trial in which Simpson was found not guilty that Simpson snapped emotionally after Barbieri's break-up.
Nancy Ney, a volunteer at the battered women's shelter Sojourn House in Los Angeles testified that a frightened woman named Nicole called the shelter's hotline five days before the murders. The woman said her "high-profile" ex-husband of eight years had threatened to kill her. Ney said the caller's voice was consistent with other tapes of Nicole and that the caller said she was about the same age as Nicole and had two young children. Ney testified, "She said he (her unidentified ex-husband) told her a few different times that if he ever caught her with another man, he would kill her." According to the shelter's policy, Ney never asked the caller's last name.
A costumer for an exercise video Simpson taped in May 1994 also contradicted Simpson's testimony that he never owned a dark sweatsuit similar to the one that left fibers on the murder victims.
Media Resources: Reuters - December 5, 1996; The Associated Press and Sacramento Bee - December 4, 1996; USA Today - December 5, 1996; Reuters - December 4, 1996