Things Everyone Overlooks About Nicole Brown Simpson And O.J. Simpson's Relationship

The trial of O.J. Simpson for the June 12, 1994, murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman still piques the interest of those who were aware of the case and the drama that surrounded it, as well as younger individuals who weren't born yet, or were too young to understand the ramifications of the so-called "Trial of the Century." It was featured by "Glee" and "American Horror Story" co-creator Ryan Murphy in the first season of his "American Crime Story" series on FX, and just last month, the documentary "O.J. and Nicole: An American Tragedy" premiered on Investigation Discovery, telling the tragic tale in the eyes of Nicole's younger sister Tanya Brown.

The case has also been documented by so many publications and articles through the years — the likes of E! Online have written about how Simpson was allegedly a controlling, physically abusive partner to Nicole, and how the obsessive control and abuse started as far back as the late '70s, around the time they had just started dating. But on the other hand, there are many things about their relationship that have been discussed on these articles that people tend to overlook. Let's take a look at some of the more notable examples.

The age gap was far more pronounced when they started dating

At the time of her death, Nicole Brown Simpson was 35 years old, slightly a decade younger than O.J. Simpson, who was then a month shy of his 47th birthday. Most will agree that such an age gap isn't really that eye-opening. But if you consider that O.J. and Nicole first met in the late '70s, that sort of puts things in a totally different perspective. At that time, Simpson was still a young man — no longer that young for an NFL player, but you get the idea. However, he was entering into a relationship with a woman who had just become a legal adult, as pointed out by E! Online.

To be more specific, Nicole Brown graduated from high school on May 20, 1977, just one day after turning 18. Three weeks later, she was working as a waitress at Daisy, a Los Angeles nightclub, when she met O.J. Simpson, then 29 years old, for the first time. She would enroll at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, that same year, and at that time, she and Simpson were already dating. But even more troubling than the age gap between a famous athlete in his late 20s and an 18-year-old college student was how Nicole dropped out a few months after she enrolled, allegedly because her NFL superstar boyfriend "required that she be with him."

Nicole Brown didn't realize O.J. Simpson was a football star

As a running back for the University of Southern California, O.J. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 and was picked first overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1969 NFL Draft. Though it took him a while before he started putting up otherworldly numbers on the field (via Pro Football Reference), Simpson did put them up, and in 1973, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. He was a six-time Pro Bowl running back and a five-time All-Pro selection. If you watched football, you knew The Juice, but there were some people who had no idea who he was and/or why he was such a big deal. These included his would-be girlfriend (and later on, second wife), Nicole Brown.

Simpson's longtime friend and occasional houseguest Michael Militello, a Buffalo nightclub owner at the time, told The Buffalo News in 1994 about the night when O.J. met Nicole at the Daisy. "She came up to our table — this bright, smart and funny girl," he shared. "She wasn't at all impressed by O.J. being a football star because she didn't follow sports. But they fell in love, almost immediately."

O.J. Simpson was still married to his first wife when he met Nicole

See that photo above? That's O.J. Simpson and his first wife, Marguerite Whitley, posing at a movie premiere in 1977. But didn't O.J. start dating Nicole Brown that year, as we established above? Yes, that is absolutely right, but it is also correct that he was doing so while still married to Marguerite, the mother of his two school-age children, Arnelle and Jason. The couple also had a third child, Aaren, who was born in 1977 but died about a month before her second birthday after accidentally drowning in the family's swimming pool, according to E! Online.

It was only in 1979 when O.J. and Marguerite finally divorced, ending a marriage that lasted 12 years. Per The New York Times, O.J. was only 19 and Marguerite 18 when they tied the knot on June 24, 1967, in their hometown of San Francisco. Theirs appeared to be a turbulent union, with the publication noting that they temporarily separated multiple times. The first of these momentary splits took place in 1970, and three years after that, Marguerite was contemplating filing for divorce from O.J., though plans to start proceedings were ultimately nixed. Apparently, it was Simpson's increasing celebrity status that progressively tore them apart. "She lent an element of stability to him — mother, homemaker, things like that," recalled lawyer Harry Fain, who represented Marguerite during her divorce from O.J. "Then he becomes a celebrity and the marriage begins to fail."

Although O.J. repeatedly accused Marguerite of threatening physical violence against him, Fain told The New York Times that he wasn't aware of any actual violent incidents between the couple.

O.J. and Nicole tried -- and failed -- to reconcile for the kids

O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson's seven-year marriage ended in 1992, and it seems to be a common misconception that everything was acrimonious from that point forward — for example, the 1995 film "The O.J. Simpson Story" provided such a narrative. However, there was a point after the split when Nicole wanted to reconcile with O.J., partly for the sake of their children Sydney and Justin, but also because she still loved him despite the numerous instances of alleged abuse. 

"I want to put our family back together! I want our kids to grow up with their parents. I thought I'd be happy raising Sydney & Justin by myself — since we didn't see too much of you anyway," read a letter Nicole sent to O.J. after their divorce, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "I want to be with you! I want to love you and cherish you, and make you smile ... I want us to be the way we used to be."

While O.J. overcame his initial reluctance and agreed to try to make things work again, any hopes of a reconciliation were dashed on October 25, 1993, when Nicole called 911 and told the operator that her ex-husband, enraged over a sexual encounter she had with a boyfriend following the split, had "f***ing gone nuts" and was threatening to physically assault her (via E! Online).