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Kato Kaelin testifies in Simpson civil trial

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Jurors hear secret tape of altercation

November 19, 1996
Web posted at: 9:00 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- In his first appearance on the stand in O.J. Simpson's wrongful-death civil trial, Brian "Kato" Kaelin testified Tuesday that Simpson had watched through a window while his ex-wife had sex with another man.

Simpson recalled the April 1992 incident for Kaelin on June 11, 1994, the night before the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.


Trial Transcripts


Kaelin said he and Simpson were watching the movie "The World According to Garp," when Simpson pointed out the part where the wife in the movie was going to have oral sex with a man in her car.

Kaelin said Simpson compared this to seeing Nicole give oral sex to a man named Keith at her condo. Simpson said he watched the act through the window, Kaelin testified.

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In Simpson's criminal trial for the two murders, prosecutors contended that Simpson had stalked Nicole over a period of time, then killed her in a jealous rage.

Kaelin, Simpson's former house guest, also was one of the handful of people who spent time with Simpson the night of the slayings. Although Simpson was cleared of the murders in October 1995, the families of the victims have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against him.

On Tuesday, Kaelin appeared to be a friendly witness for the plaintiffs, in contrast to his testimony during the criminal trial, when the prosecution accused him of being evasive and asked that he be declared a hostile witness.

Also in his testimony Tuesday, Kaelin said:

  • Simpson was wearing a dark sweat suit the night of the murders. Blue-black fibers were found on evidence and the victims at the crime scene. Simpson denies owning such clothing.

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  • Simpson told him Nicole was "playing hardball" with him by withholding visitation rights to his daughter, Sydney, the night of the murders. Kaelin acknowledged on cross-examination that he had not previously given this information to the police.

The plaintiffs used Kaelin to counter various defense contentions that Simpson was walking his dog, watching TV and hitting golf balls at the time of the killings. Kaelin said he did not see Simpson's television on that night, he never saw Simpson walk his dog because the animal is old and arthritic, and he neither saw nor heard Simpson chipping golf balls.

Jurors hear 1993 police call

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Jurors also heard a tape recording Tuesday of conversations police officers had with Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson after she called them to her home in October 1993.

The tape was secretly recorded by Sgt. Craig Lally, one of the Los Angeles Police officers called to the scene. On the tape, Lally and another officer, Robert Lerner, speak separately to the two about the altercation.

On the tape, Nicole told officers that this time the fight did not come to physical blows, but that four years earlier Simpson had struck her. She also told them, "I think if it happened once more, it would be the last time." (10 sec. /128K AIFF or WAV sound)icon

Simpson, meanwhile, explained to the officers that they were having a fight over an ex-boyfriend of Nicole's and he was "shocked" that she called the police.

"We were yelling at each other, but I'm surprised she called the cops. I thought she was on the phone with her mother," he told the officers. He told the officers that Nicole was the one who started the 1989 fight which resulted in his conviction for spousal battery.

This tape is a different recording from the tape of the 911 call Nicole placed asking police for help after Simpson allegedly broke down a back door to her house. Jurors heard that recording on Monday.

Simpson did not attend the civil trial Tuesday. He went instead to a hearing in Orange County to determine the custody of his two youngest children, Sydney and Justin. Nicole Brown Simpson's parents are fighting him for custody of the children.

 
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