Today, OJ Simpson has a reputation as a wife-beater, robber, and possible murderer. But it wasn’t always this way. In 1967, he was a newly-wed husband on his way to becoming a celebrated football star and loving father.
OJ Simpson met his first wife, Marguerite Whitley, in high school when she was 16 and he was 17. At the time, she was dating his best friend, Al Cowlings – the man who would later take a suicidal OJ on an infamous freeway ride in a white Ford Bronco.
After OJ married Marguerite in 1967, he went on to win the Heisman Trophy at USC in 1968 and become the 1969 No. 1 NFL draft pick. Recruited by the Buffalo Bills, OJ and Marguerite moved to Amherst, New York to work and raise their family.
No History of Domestic Violence – in Amherst, NY
For eight years, Marguerite and OJ lived relatively peacefully together with their two children. According to Marguerite in a 1995 interview with Barbara Walters, they were a young couple, “…bullheaded…testing the ground with each other. We had young children. We had an amount of money that no one told us how to invest it. There was an immaturity on our part.”
Unfortunately, as early as 1968, OJ had a reputation for infidelity. Marguerite stated in a 1968 interview with Look magazine, OJ “was a beast. He was pretty horrible. If there were other fellows who wanted to talk to girls, he'd make them stay away. He'd been a terrible person, right on the edge of trouble."
However, there were never any reports of physical violence between the two. In fact, in her 1995 interview with Barbara Walters, Marguerite stated that if OJ hit her, ”he would have gotten a frying pan upside the head. There is just no way I would have let that happen to me.”
A Lil' Matchmaker™ analysis on their pairing shows relative compatibility – no great dominance, injury or opposition.
OJ Meets and Marries Nicole – in Los Angeles, CA
Moving to Los Angeles in 1977 spelled the beginning of the end for OJ and Marguerite. That year, OJ met Nicole Brown when she was a 18-year old waitress in a nightclub.
After dating for over 6 years, OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown were married on February 2, 1985 – five years after OJ retired from professional football. Their first child, daughter Sydney Brooke Simpson, was born 8 months later on October 17, 1985.
In May 1989, shortly after the birth of their second child, son Justin Ryan Simpson, on August 6, 1988, the first public reports of spousal abuse surfaced when OJ pleaded no contest to charge of slapping, kicking and threatening to kill Nicole in a New Year's Day argument.
Finally, after seven years of marriage, Nicole filed for divorce on February 25, 1992, citing "irreconcilable differences."
From a Lil' Matchmaker™ perspective, there is nothing in their analysis to account for any domestic violence whatsoever. At best, they would have been tolerably amicable. At worst, they would have been indifferent. They don’t support, dominate, injure or oppose each other. In fact, OJ and Nicole have such similar characteristics as to be almost boring to each other. Given that they were both attractive and charming, they could have found better romantic partners to love and cherish.
Why Couldn’t OJ Leave Nicole Alone?
OJ couldn’t let Nicole be. At the time of Nicole’s murder, OJ was dating Paula Barbieri, a beautiful model and actress. Although she broke up with him the morning of Nicole’s murder to be with Michael Bolton, Paula claimed their break-up was due to OJ’s inability to remain faithful.
During his entire adult life, many beautiful and talented women have approached OJ to have affairs or fool around – so much so that it was difficult for OJ to remain faithful to his wives or girlfriends. But, none of them ever reported any physical abuse.
Yet, for some reason, OJ decided to pick on Nicole. Was it because he was…
- Feeling vulnerable due to a major life transition? At the time of his marriage to Nicole, OJ was in the process of switching careers (from professional football to actor, spokesperson and businessman). This type of transition is stressful for anyone – especially someone who is used to performing at the top of his game.
- Feeling pressure due to additional children? There are no reports that OJ had any illegitimate children. If Nicole hadn’t been pregnant at the time of their marriage, would OJ have married her? Because OJ is a known philanderer, did he feel pressured into marrying Nicole?
- Feeling diminished? While OJ claimed that he never heard hear Paula Barbieri’s 30-minute breakup voicemail on the morning of Nicole’s murder (telling him she was leaving him for Michael Bolton), he may have felt the relationship was ending in the prior days and weeks. Her voicemail would be further proof that he wasn’t at the top of his game anymore…and thus was entering a stage of career or personal decline.
- Feeling entitled? Marguerite stated that she would never have allowed OJ to physically abuse her. Perhaps Nicole never set that boundary for herself, allowing OJ to continually abuse her. And, maybe he did because he could.
- Feeling ill? After 8 years playing professional football and 8+ years of high school and college football, is there any chance OJ was suffering from traumatic brain injuries that affected his personality? Or caused a psychotic break that would position him to inflict physical injury upon his loved ones? This may explain his sudden use of violence, but it doesn’t account for why he directed this violence towards women.
While the reasons provided above may help explain his situation and outlook, it doesn’t absolve him from taking his anger out on the women who loved him most.
As a side note, it is interesting that both OJ and Marguerite, and OJ and Nicole, had conflicts while living at the Brentwood house on Rockingham. Perhaps they should have analyzed their home from a Feng Shui perspective to reduce any potential for arguments and increase their income and happiness. However, this home has now been demolished so we will never know if Feng Shui would have made a difference.
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Disclaimer: Please note that a Lil' Matchmaker™ analysis provides a general overview of a relationship’s potential but many factors can change the outcome for any couple in any giving situation. For example, someone suffering from illness or substance abuse may behave completely differently from the basis of their native character thereby change the nature of their relationships with the significant people in their lives.
The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not medical or legal advice. This article does not create a client relationship. The author is not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failure to act related to the content in this article.