Simpson confronted with Nicole's litany of brutality
January 13, 1997 Web posted at: 11:00 p.m. EST
SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson was confronted Monday with a letter written by Nicole Brown Simpson in which she says he "beat the holy hell out of me" during an argument in 1989.
The letter, a surprise produced by plaintiffs' attorney Daniel Petrocelli during cross-examination, elicited some of the strongest exchanges during Simpson's civil trial and even seemed to unsettle the judge.
Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki refused at first to allow the letter to be read to jurors, but relented only after noting that it could be used to understand Ms. Simpson's state of mind.
What the jurors heard was a litany of domestic strife, some of it violent, that depicts the deterioration of a marriage.
A L S O:
Nicole's letter to O.J.
Simpson, who was acquitted of the murders by a criminal court jury in October 1995 and now faces a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of the victims, claims the letter was written at the suggestion of Ms. Simpson's attorneys in anticipation of a divorce.
'You beat the holy hell out of me'
The letter refers at one point to an incident in September, 1986, in which Ms. Simpson went to a hospital with an abrasion on the back of her head.
"There was also that time you beat the holy hell out of me," Ms. Simpson wrote. "You told the X-ray lab I fell off a bike."
Simpson testified that is what his wife told him had happened.
She also referred to "the New Year's Eve beat-up," a reference to a 1989 fight that brought police to Simpson's estate and led to him pleading no-contest to spousal battery.
"I called the cops to save my life, whether you believe it or not," she wrote.
The letter concluded, "I've never loved you since or been the same."
Simpson says pants in photos are fake, too
Petrocelli also confronted Simpson with several new photographs of the ex-football player at a Buffalo Bills game in 1993 in which he is apparently wearing Bruno Magli designer shoes similar to ones that left a bloody footprint at the murder scene.
Simpson denied ever owning such shoes and told Petrocelli that he didn't think the pants looked authentic either.
"I'm normally a pretty sharp dresser and they (pants) don't look like me. They don't look like they fit," Simpson said.
"You lied to this jury when you said you weren't wearing those shoes, didn't you?" said Petrocelli.
"No," Simpson replied.
Petrocelli also pressed Simpson about his unfaithfulness.
"In the course of your relationship with Nicole, you were unfaithful to her?" Petrocelli said.
"From time to time, yes," said Simpson.
"And that was dishonest?"
"I think morally, yes."
"That was a lie, wasn't it?" the attorney pressed.
"I think morally, it was dishonest," said Simpson. "I don't know if I would characterize it as a lie."
Simpson wondered if kids saw their mother's body
Simpson testified that when he learned of his wife's murder, he asked police if his children had seen their mother's body.
"I wanted to know if my kids had been exposed to anything," he said in a voice thick with emotion. Police told him they had not.
He also became emotional when discussing the famous slow-speed chase in his Ford Bronco five days after the murder.
"I was in a lot of pain. I was missing Nicole, and my kids didn't cry. I guess they (other people) had attacked me somewhat and that hurt me and I just didn't know what to do," Simpson said.
"I asked (friend A.C. Cowlings) to take me to Nicole's grave. I was feeling a lot of pain and I wanted to go Nicole's grave. I just felt, I guess, suicidal."
He said the two sat in a nearby orange grove and he got in the back seat of the car and took out a gun.
Asked why he did not go through with killing himself, he replied, "A.C. -- and my mom told me, years ago -- that you can't go to heaven if you commit suicide and I was dealing with that, and thank God for A.C."
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