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Simpson tormented, beat wife, papers say

Published Oct. 3, 2005

O.J. Simpson threw his ex-wife out of a moving car, beat her during sex and threatened to cut off the heads of her boyfriends, according to entries from her diary and other documents released by prosecutors Wednesday.

And in court, a prosecutor revealed that five days before Nicole Brown Simpson was killed she sought protection at a battered women's shelter, saying her ex-husband was stalking her. She also kept evidence of abuse in a safe deposit box, the prosecutor said.

The documents were filed as part of a hearing on whether to let the jury in the first-degree murder trial listen to evidence of longstanding violence in Simpson's relationship with Ms. Simpson. The papers portray Simpson as fiercely jealous and filled with rage.

At the hearing, capping a graphic recitation of domestic violence incidents dating to 1977, Deputy District Attorney Lydia Bodin said Ms. Simpson contacted the Sojourn Shelter on June 7.

"Nicole Brown Simpson went to that place because she was afraid, and she had reason to be afraid," Bodin said. "She felt she was being stalked . . . and she named the defendant as the person stalking her."

Bodin also said that when prosecutors broke open Ms. Simpson's safe deposit box they found pictures of her bruised face, letters of apology from Simpson and news articles reporting his admission of spousal abuse in 1989.

"She literally created an accounting, an audit trail, of acts of violence because she wanted people to know what was going on in her life," Bodin said.

Although past bad acts by a defendant often are barred from evidence, Bodin and Deputy District Attorney Scott Gordon argued Simpson's acts showed a pattern of violence leading to Ms. Simpson's death.

"This murder took 17 years to commit," Gordon said. "Those punches and slaps were the prelude to a homicide."

Defense attorney Gerald Uelmen argued that the June 12 stabbing deaths of Ms. Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman have all the hallmarks of a drug-related slaying and that evidence of violence in the Simpson household is irrelevant and would prejudice the jury.

"Where is there any similarity between a bedroom argument in which both parties had been drinking and the argument escalates into a slapping incident, and the slashing of two people's throats on a sidewalk?" Uelmen asked.

The jurors, who were ordered sequestered before the arguments began, were tucked away at their undisclosed hotel.

Among other things, the documents say Ms. Simpson's house keys were stolen from her home about two weeks before she and Goldman were slashed to death, and Simpson was carrying the keys when he was arrested.

The documents also include a previously unreported statement from a person at Ms. Simpson's funeral who said Simpson uttered over her casket: "I'm sorry . . . I'm sorry . . . I loved you too much."

Prosecutors said police responded as many as nine times to domestic abuse calls from Ms. Simpson.

Ms. Simpson's diary quotes Simpson as calling his pregnant wife a "fat ass," demanding she get an abortion and once beating her while they had sex.

The papers also say that after a night of drinking in the summer of 1989, Simpson hit Ms. Simpson and threw her out of a moving car.

According to the documents, Ms. Simpson told her mother that her ex-husband was stalking her. He "is following me again Mommy," Ms. Simpson was quoted as saying. "I'm scared. I go to the gas station, he's there. I go to the Payless shoe store, and he's there. I'm driving and he's behind me."

Eddie Reynoza, who acted along with Simpson in the movie Naked Gun 2{, alleged in the court papers that Simpson once said if he ever caught Ms. Simpson's boyfriends driving his cars, he would "cut their (expletive) heads off!"

Simpson allegedly made the statement in 1991, while the two were still married. They divorced in 1992.

The alleged threat was the most dramatic statement yet suggesting a motive for the slayings. Goldman was allowed to drive Ms. Simpson's Ferrari, although friends and family said his relationship with Ms. Simpson was platonic.

Uelmen belittled Reynoza as an opportunist "advancing his own career by assigning himself a starring role" in the case.

"What we ended up with is a bumpy marriage in which the parties argued a lot, probably no more than usual," Uelmen said in asking Judge Lance Ito to bar all evidence of violence in the relationship. "All the good moments of that marriage were left out."

In one letter, Simpson expressed regret for a New Year's 1989 fight that sent Ms. Simpson to the hospital and resulted in Simpson pleading no-contest to wife beating.

He wrote that he was "thinking and trying to realize how I got so crazy. . . . Nicole I love you more than ever as I watched you at the party. . . . It must be because of those feelings that I reacted so emotionally."