"Shipp, I'm a fugitive. Nicole and I had a little argument last night."
OJ asked me to check with West LA Division cops to see if there was a warrant for his arrest. He said, "Ron, I'm going to need you to help me get back in Nicole's good graces."
Shocked as to what he was saying to me over the phone, I couldn't help but think of all the rumors I heard about him beating up Marguerite Simpson, his first wife.
I reflected back on one day when I was teaching my domestic violence class at the Academy, and I mentioned several celebrities whose names were part of our lesson plan. One of the officers asked me, "Hey, Shipp, how come your friend OJ isn't on the list?"
My answer to that officer was, "OJ is not a batterer."
I left West LA Station at four o'clock in the afternoon and arrived at Rockingham ten minutes later. I pushed the buzzer to the intercom and with no words said, the electronic gate slowly opened. Nicole walked out of the front door with a smile on her face. I followed her to the television/entertainment room, and she sat down on the couch. I sat across from her.
She looked at me with an expression that I had never seen on her face. It was the look of a frightened, sad little girl. She didn't have to say a word. I was looking at the makeup that barely covered up the bruises on her face.
She whimpered, "Ron, he did it to me this time, and I don't want to be married to him anymore." She began crying. For a moment, I sat there and stared at her. I didn't know what to say or do. I had never seen her cry, and she totally caught me off guard.
Seeing the wife of a man that I loved and admire battered, crying, and looking to me for help left me speechless.
I awkwardly reached out and hugged her. She buried her head on the right side of my chest, crying uncontrollably. I found it difficult to speak. After about thirty seconds, she became rigid and pulled away from me. She looked at me, smiled and apologized. Nicole removed a pack of Marlboros from her white shorts and lit up a cigarette.
She told me that OJ called her and asked if he could home. She said she did not want him to come back. I told her about what OJ said to me the day before, that it was an isolated incident and that he me to help him get back with her.
"Isolated incident? Is that what he told you?" she responded. She jumped up off the couch and said she had something to show me and headed upstairs.
A couple of minutes later she came back down, carrying a manila envelope. "I want to show you something, but you have to swear you'll never tell anybody about them." I promised her that I wouldn't tell a soul. "I've never shown these to anybody," she confided, handing me abut half a dozen photographs, one at a time. They were close-ups of various parts of her body, deeply bruised, black and blue.
Ron, I took these and said to myself, if he ever hit me again, I would give these to the National Enquirer. I want him to hurt the way he hurt me."
I finally believed OJ was a batterer.
Nicole continued to tell me that OJ had also pulled a gun on her. Once again, I observed the frightened, sad little girl expression on her face as she spoke. Her voice was trembling as she said, "Ron, I'm scared, I truly believe he's going to kill me."
I looked in her eyes, saying, "Nicole, no way OJ Simpson is going to kill you. OJ will never lay a hand on you again." I grabbed her hand and walked with her to OJ's trophy case.
"Nicole, see that Heisman Trophy, the NFL rushing title trophy, pictures with President Nixon, President Ford, and his collections of historical memorabilia? That's priceless. I don't think OJ Simpson would give all this up to kill you."
"Ron you don't know him," she whimpered.
The Heart Behind The Badge