OJ Simpson is back in the news with the recent broadcast of the FX miniseries The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Though the “trial of the century” in which Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman happened more than twenty years ago, many are still fascinated with the case and wondering whether or not OJ was truly innocent or if the prosecution just did a poor job presenting its case.
While many familiar faces from the OJ Simpson trial have resurfaced from lead prosecutor Marcia Clark to the Simpson property dweller Kato Kaelin, one has to wonder what effect the series is having on the families of not only the victims but on OJ’s children with Nicole Brown-Simpson, Sydney and Justin.
Sydney and Justin Simpson were just eight and five-years-old when their mother was murdered. Following the arrest of their father, OJ Simpson, the children were placed in the care of Nicole Brown’s parents. According to CNN, a custody battle ensued between Judith and Lou Brown and OJ Simpson over the custody of Sydney and Justin after OJ’s acquittal. The Brown family argued that OJ’s prior history of domestic violence made him a danger to his children. Simpson also lost a civil suit that pointed the finger at him for the murder. Despite their argument, OJ was awarded custody in December of 1996 and the custody battle between Simpson and the Browns raged on.
According to a Radar Online article two years ago, Nicole Brown-Simpson’s sister Tonya discussed the difficulty of having to pick up the Simpson children from OJ’s so they could visit the Brown family but it was something she did for the sake of the kids. “We were in constant contact with him (OJ) because of the kids. … He will forever live on in Sydney and Justin and he is for the rest of his life attached to my family somehow.” Tonya went on to say that both Sydney and Justin have finished college and have careers and relationships but that the Simpson children tried to maintain low profiles. Both Simpson children were present for the funeral of Lou Brown in 2014.
A recent Daily Mail article found Sydney Simpson, now 30, living in St. Petersberg, Florida. Both Simpson children declined to comment on The People v OJ Simpson when approached by reporters and the current status of their relationship with OJ is unknown, however, other family members of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman had plenty to say.
According to Today, Kim Goldman still holds much anger over the death of her brother Ron. “I’m forced to endure this week after week,” Goldman said of the FX miniseries. Goldman believes OJ Simpson is guilty and that her brother Ron died a hero, trying to prevent OJ from killing Nicole. She stated she felt a great sadness that his sacrifice won’t be recognized in The People v OJ Simpson.
Ron Goldman’s father, Fred, expressed similar concerns to Daily Mail. Now 75, Goldman said his family refuses to say OJ Simpson’s name, referring to him as “the killer.” The rehashing of the OJ Simpson trial via miniseries has left Fred Goldman feeling “anxious,” “nervous,” and angry that the focus is on OJ Simpson rather than the murder victims.
In a recent Orange County Register article, Nicole Brown-Simpson’s sister Tonya said she isn’t necessarily angry that the series was made so much as that the victims’ families weren’t consulted. Tonya also found it interesting that FX would choose to air the first episode on February 2 — the wedding anniversary for OJ and Nicole. Denise Brown, the dark haired sister of Nicole who was most notably present during OJ’s trial has yet to comment, however, she continues to run the domestic violence charity founded in honor of Nicole Brown-Simpson.
And as for OJ and his thoughts on the series? Reportedly Simpson isn’t too happy about it. But as he sits in prison for robbery and kidnapping, it’s not known if OJ will even have the ability to watch it.
[Cover image via David McNew/Liaison Agency/Getty Images.]