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In their own words

Reactions to the Simpson custody ruling

December 20, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EST

(CNN) -- Moments after an Orange County Superior Court judge Friday ruled in favor of O.J. Simpson in a long and contentious custody fight, the comments began.

Here are reactions from some of the key players:


  • Judge Nancy Wieben-Stock: "The children share a relationship with their father that appears to be strong, positive, and healthy, with powerful psychological bonding. All experts who had the benefit of analyzing the children with all of their significant adults, came to the same conclusion on this point."

    "A review of Simpson's history with the children does not yield a picture of a man who has in the past, or is likely in the future to lose control of himself in such a manner as to emotionally or physically harm his two young children."


  • O.J. Simpson: "We are all so very grateful today to have the children home again where they want to be," Simpson's statement said. "We would like to thank Lou and Juditha Brown for doing the best they could during a very difficult time and fully expect them to continue as active grandparents."

    "We would ask the media and the public to allow my children their privacy and to live in as normal an environment as possible."

  • The Brown family: "The Brown family fought long and hard against Mr. Simpson's petition to regain the custody of Sydney and Justin in order to assure that these children would be safe and protected and not exposed to the risks and detriment of domestic violence which plagued their past and, if returned to Mr. Simpson, would be likely to affect their future."

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    "It is with great sadness and concern that we received the news today that the judge has decided to terminate the guardianship."

    "We love Sydney and Justin and pray for their safety and well-being as they return to their father."

    Denise Brown

  • Denise Brown, victim's sister: "Nobody believes that domestic violence kills and nobody believes it is detrimental to children. This world has got to wake up. To me, if there is domestic violence, if the children see it or hear it, that to me is detrimental. Batterers should not have rights to children."

    "I know he murdered my sister. Deep down in my heart I know it."

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  • Natasha Roit, attorney for the Brown family: "It is illogical to us that she can decide a case on domestic violence ... without considering the evidence of murder."

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    "The judge has failed to address in this order the tremendous amount of evidence that we have put forth in this case that every expert in this case agreed that domestic violence is detrimental and damaging to children."

    "Additionally, we put on tremendous evidence that a batterer such as Mr. Simpson who does not receive therapy and continues to deny that he's a batterer is detrimental to the children because he's likely to commit such violence again."

  • Robert Baker, Simpson's attorney: "He deserves it. It's Christmas, he should be with his kids."

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