CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Cochran ex-wife accuses him of abuse in new book

August 17, 1995

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The ex-wife of Simpson defense attorney Johnnie Cochran has written a book in which she alleges that he beat her several times during their eighteen- year marriage.

Cochran has previously denied allegations that he hit his former wife.

Barbara Cochran Berry's 205-page book, written with the assistance of a Hollywood screenwriter, portrays Cochran as an arrogant, physically abusing, and philandering husband.

Berry alleges at least three incidents when Cochran physically assaulted her. The first time, she said, was a slap. The second time, she said, he tore a dress off her. The third time, she wrote, Cochran began hitting her after she received a phone call from a male acquaintance.

An excerpt from the book reads: "He grabbed me, holding me by one hand tightly--it hurt the way he was holding me--and started hitting me on the side of my head with his fists, where my hair would cover any marks. He hit me three or four times, yelling, 'I'm going to hit you where there won't be any bruises.' I cried out for him to stop."

Berry says she left Cochran after that incident, but eventually they reconciled and remained married for ten more years before they divorced.

Barbara Cochran Berry's allegations of abuse by her ex- husband became known earlier this year after the Los Angeles Times published portions of their divorce papers. In them, Berry accused Cochran of hitting her.

Berry said she decided to write the book after her former husband called her and asked her to deny to reporters what she had claimed in those papers.

The final page of the book contains a list of phone numbers of domestic violence and battered women's organizations.



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