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Psychologist removed from Simpson child custody case

simpson.generic October 2, 1996
Web posted at: 10:50 p.m. EDT

LOS ANGELES (CNN)--A prominent child psychologist in the O.J. Simpson custody battle has been removed from the case, sources told CNN.

Dr. Russell Johnson, whose testimony offered "substantial weight" in the custody hearing over the future of 10-year-old Sydney and eight-year-old Justin was ordered off the case for violating the "gag" order imposed by Commissioner Thomas H. Schulte.

During a recent hearing, Johnson spoke to reporters about the case.

Johnson, who conducted extensive interviews with Simpson's two children and the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, was a key witness for the Brown family.

In his testimony, Dr. Johnson determined that the home of Lou and Juditha Brown -- where the children have lived for the past two years -- is better for the children, sources said.

The court order means none of Johnson's testimony can be used in the final custody trial in November.

Simpson is trying to regain custody of his two youngest children following his acquittal in the murder trial of his ex- wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Simpson granted temporary guardianship of his children to their grandparents Louis and Juditha Brown. The Browns are now seeking permanent custody.

Last month, Schulte granted temporary guardianship to the Browns until a permanent trial. The trial is scheduled to begin early November.

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