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Simpson portrays Nicole as wild and wayward

'My intention was not to hurt her' he says

January 10, 1997
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- Returning to the witness stand, O.J. Simpson Friday calmly portrayed himself as a loving husband who clashed with his ex-wife only when he confronted her about her increasingly wayward behavior.

Simpson appeared poised and confident as he was guided by gentle questioning from defense lawyers bent on rehabilitating the ex-football star in the eyes of the jury at the wrongful death trial.

After attorneys led him through a recitation of the awards and honors he won during his career as a Hall of Fame running back, Simpson described his 17-year relationship with Nicole Brown Simpson in glowing terms.

"We were very much in love," he told the jury. "We traveled all over the world. Our house was always loaded with people."

Baker then turned to the damaging allegations of domestic violence that have dogged Simpson since his criminal trial.

OJ and Nicole

Simpson acknowledged that he was "very physical" with Nicole Brown Simpson in the early hours of New Year's Day 1989 in an incident that ultimately led to Simpson pleading no-contest to domestic abuse.

But he testified: "I didn't hit her. I didn't slap her. My intention was not to hurt her in any way at all ... I was told she fell outside my house (after the argument)."

Nevertheless, Simpson declared himself "100 percent responsible ... for her sustaining the injuries she did" and testified that he never again caused any physical harm to her.

"I didn't hit her. I didn't slap her. My intention was not to hurt her in any way at all."

-- O.J. Simpson

Asked specifically whether he had struck Nicole Brown Simpson outside an animal clinic in the early 1980s, Simpson replied: "Absolutely not."

Simpson is being sued by the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, who were murdered in June 1994. Simpson was charged with the killings and acquitted during a criminal trial.

Attorneys for the victims' families have contended that Simpson beat, terrorized and finally murdered his ex-wife when he could no longer control her. They showed jurors photos of her bruised, swollen face, injuries allegedly sustained in the 1989 incident, and called witnesses who described incidents of domestic violence.

"She said she had done something stupid and she had gotten herself pregnant."

-- Simpson

Simpson's testimony Friday was delayed by arguments about whether he could describe his murdered ex-wife's alleged indiscretions.

John Q. Kelly, a lawyer for Ms. Simpson's estate, had asked Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki to prevent Simpson from telling the jury about Nicole Brown Simpson's supposedly erratic sexual behavior.

But Fujisaki ruled that Simpson's testimony about his ex-wife was relevant because it could explain his actions during various arguments between the couple and address Simpson's motive or lack of motive to kill her.

"She said she had done something stupid and she had gotten herself pregnant," said Simpson.

Simpson also said he had been told that her boyfriend had been involved in drugs.

But Simpson denied he was jealous, even when he said watched through a window as his ex-wife and a boyfriend performed a sex act. He simply told her to be more discreet, he said.

Simpson's attorneys plan to wrap up their case Monday, and closing arguments could begin by the end of next week. The case is expected to go to the jury before the end of January, after just three months of testimony -- a far cry from the nine months it took in Simpson's criminal trial.

If at least nine of the 12 jurors find him responsible for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, Simpson could be forced to pay millions of dollars in damages.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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