Where are O.J. Simpson's kids now?
The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman shocked America to the core in 1994, though they were not the only victims that night. O.J. Simpson, who was tried and acquitted in criminal court for the fatal stabbings, had two children with his late ex and three from his previous marriage to Marguerite Whitley. (His third child with Whitley, Aaren Lashone Simpson, tragically drowned in the family swimming pool months before her second birthday.) For Simpson's children, life hasn't been easy since the so-called "Trial of the Century."
While some of the peripheral people in the former NFL star's life went on to achieve huge levels of fame (like BFF Kris Jenner and her family), the Simpson kids have maintained the low profiles, going out of their way to avoid the intrusive glare of the press. Interest in the case has spiked in recent years. Following the release of the hit FX show The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2016 and the critically acclaimed docuseries O.J.: Made in America that same year, Simpson's offspring have been sucked back into the spotlight. What have they been doing in the years since their father became public enemy no. 1 in the court of public opinion? Read on to find out.
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Unlike her younger half-siblings, O.J.'s first-born, Arnelle L. Simpson, was old enough to understand the gravity of what had happened when Nicole and Goldman's bloodied bodies were discovered outside Nicole's condominium in the affluent Brentwood area of Los Angeles. When interviewed by Georgia Newsday two decades after the murders, Arnelle revealed that holding down a job at that time proved nearly impossible. She landed a gig working "for a rapper called Hash for a while, and then produced some fashion shows," but neither gig lasted.
As the eldest child, Arnelle's primary responsibility for years was making sure her half-brother and half-sister had as normal an upbringing as possible under the circumstances. "We have been living with this for 20 years," she said. "Me, my brothers, my sister… You know, when the whole thing happened to Paris (Michael Jackson's daughter, who attempted to commit suicide after her father died) I called them. I told the family: 'Hey, it could have happened to us, to Sydney and Justin.' But we brought them up okay."
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According to Georgia Newsday, Arnelle handled her father's affairs when he was behind bars. Refresher: though he was found not guilty in criminal court for the murders of Nicole and Goldman, he had the book thrown at him when he was later arrested and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas in 2007. He and a group of men reportedly entered a casino hotel with guns and took sports memorabilia that Simpson claimed had been stolen from him, though his accomplices later flipped on O.J. when prosecutors promised reduced sentences.
In July 2017, after serving nine years behind bars, Simpson was granted parole. He could be released as early as October 2017.
When he does get out, he's not going to have much money to live on, if reports about his finances are to be believed. The disgraced star was allowed to keep his $25,000-a-month pension from the NFL, but Arnelle has supposedly been spending it in his absence. "I have the power of attorney for my father's affairs while he is, you know, in his situation," she told Georgia Newsday. "The home is gone, it all went to attorneys."Assault laws in focus amid Weinstein saga
A family source claimed that not all of O.J.'s money went to his legal fees. "Arnelle is a shopaholic," the insider alleged. "Shopping was often the only thing that got her out of the house. She loved her trips to Saks and Victoria's Secret and paid for them with her father's money. She'd also bring all of her friends to the house or go to expensive restaurants and buy everyone dinner and drinks."
Arnelle may have a drinking problem
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Speaking of drinks, the same source who revealed Arnelle's worrying shopping habits also said that O.J. often lost his temper with his daughter over her high levels of alcohol consumption, which has apparently come to a head in recent years. "O.J. fought with Arnelle all the time about her drinking, and he tried for years to get her married to get her out of his house," the whistle blower claimed. "All she would do is sit around and drink vodka, even for breakfast."
Rumor has it, Simpson blew his top during a phone call with Arnelle made from Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center, but as far as his daughter is concerned, his anger is the pot calling the kettle black. "Her actions are really revenge against a father she felt abandoned his children long ago for a life of bad behavior and crazy antics with questionable friends and loose women," the source alleged.
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Of all of O.J.'s children, Arnelle has been one of the most outspoken supporters of their father. She appeared on behalf of her siblings at O.J.'s 2017 parole hearing. "We want him to come home so that we can move forward for us, quietly, but to move forward," she testified to the Nevada state parole board, adding, "As a family we recognize he's not the perfect man, but as a man and a father he has done his best."
Four years earlier, Arnelle wrote a letter to the same parole board, at the request of O.J., who had reportedly asked that she not be present in court in order to keep the media spotlight away from her siblings. According to the Daily Mail, Arnelle also testified in a 2013 hearing when O.J. requested a new trial for the 2008 armed robbery conviction that landed him in prison. Arnelle testified that she "recalled that her father was drinking the entire weekend of the alleged crime and that he seemed 'tipsy' when she saw him at the Palms Hotel pool talking with men who would later accompany him to a hotel room where he is accused of stealing personal memorabilia." We're not exactly sure if that was supposed to be some sort of a "he was too drunk to do it" defense, but nonetheless, she's consistently shown up for her old man.
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Amidst the uproar over O.J. Simpson's wildly controversial book If I Did It, in which he wrote an "imagined scenario" about the brutal murders of Nicole and Goldman, Arnelle stated in a deposition that the original idea for the book came from her friend, Raffles Van Exel. According to the deposition, obtained by ABC News, Arnelle acted as a broker between Van Exel and her dad and received an advance from publisher HarperCollins through her company, Lorraine Brooks Associates. The company later filed for bankruptcy and lost the rights to the book to Fred Goldman (victim Ron Goldman's father), who successfully argued that any profits from the book should go towards the largely unpaid $19 million civil settlement awarded to the Goldmans in 1997.
After much legal wrangling, the book was finally published by the Goldman family in 2007, retitled If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. It is unclear how much money the family has recouped from sales of the book, but according to the Los Angeles Times, within a month of its publication, it had already sold more thanr 100,000 copies and made its way onto bestseller lists.
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At one stage, O.J.'s eldest son, Jason Simpson, looked set to follow in his father's footsteps. He became the star running back for the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Calif. an esteemed military institution.
He was the first family member to make a statement following his father's high profile acquittal, appearing cool, calm and collected as he spoke to the world's media about the trial and the murders. Jason read a statement written by his father. "I'm relieved that this part of the incredible nightmare that occurred on June 12, 1994, is over," the statement said. "When things have settled a bit, I will pursue as my primary goal in life the killer or killers who slaughtered Nicole and Mr. Goldman. They are out there somewhere."Billionaire conservative wins Chile vote
Jason was accused of committing the murders
O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark came to the defense of Jason after rumors began circulating that he could have been the one who slayed Nicole and Goldman in cold blood. Clark said the accusations baseless. "I can't even tell you how awful it is," she told Today (via Inside Edition), calling the rumors "hideous."
Some private investigators disagree, including Michael Alex Martin, who claimed he saw Jason with O.J. in the infamous Bronco the night Brown and Goldman were killed, reported Page Six. Another private investigator, Bill Dear, published a book titled O.J. is Innocent and I Can Prove it. Dear points to several acts of knife-related violence allegedly committed by Jason, including threatening a former employer and cutting an ex-girlfriend's hair.Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber take off on private jet together
Jason was reportedly never considered a suspect.
Jason became a high-end chef
Jason gave up on his dreams of following his dad into the NFL after he reportedly discovered a passion for something totally unexpected—the culinary arts. He is now known as a high-end chef, but his road to the kitchen was not an easy one. Like Arnelle, Jason struggled with alcoholism (He was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous after being caught driving under the influence.) He may have struggled with drugs and attempted suicide on multiple occasions, according to the National Enquirer.Meghan’s first event: the verdict
By all accounts, Jason has managed to turn his life around in the years since his arrest and hospitalization, working in several well-respected kitchens, including the glitzy Italian restaurant St. Cecilia in Atlanta.
Sydney allegedly accused O.J. of killing her mom
Sydney Brooke Simpson and her father used to be inseparable when she was younger, even after her mother's death. After the acquittal, reporters were allowed unfettered access to the Simpson household for a day-in-the-life piece on O.J., and journalists noted how close the pair seemed to be. That all changed as Sydney matured and was able to learn more about the events of that terrible night in 1994. Things reportedly came to a head during a public spat in which she allegedly shouted, "You murdered mom" at her father in front of stunned onlookers. From that point, the relationship seemed to deteriorate, as did Sydney's behavior.Pretty Little Liars star sentenced to jail
According to FOX News, a 19-year-old Sydney was arrested outside of a basketball game in 2005 after allegedly hitting two teenage girls and yelling profanities at police.
Sydney changed her name
Since making headlines for her outburst and arrest, Sydney has gone out of her way to avoid the press, even changing her name. According to a 2014 Georgia Newsday report, she was waiting tables at a restaurant where her brother worked and going by the name Portia.Renee Zellweger hits back at Harvey Weinstein's recent claims
Despite her efforts to remain anonymous, reporters track her down leaving her home in St. Petersburg, Fla. after The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story aired. She reportedly refused to answer questions about the show, in which she's portrayed by actress Asia Monet Ray.
Sydney works in real estate
Sydney is the eldest of the two children O.J. had with Nicole, though she was still just a child when her mother was murdered. The 8-year-old was reportedly asleep in bed when the stabbings took place. According to Radar Online, Sydney was bullied by kids taunting her about her dad murdering her mom. As soon as she was old enough, she reportedly left Los Angeles behind, earning a sociology degree from Boston University in 2010.Spacey apologises, comes out as gay
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Sydney has forged a low-key life for herself on Florida's Gulf Coast, where she's made a number of smart property investments under the name of her own company, Simpsy, LLC.
Justin works in real estate too
Justin is the only Simpson child who seems to have lived a relatively conflict-free life. Like his siblings, he looked to the Florida area for a fresh start and landed a job as a realtor in St. Petersburg. "It's a great place to live, why not St. Pete?” he told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's gorgeous here."Strange things about Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's marriage
According to his profile on residential real estate website Coldwell Banker, "Having spent years in multi-family renovation and income properties, Justin has turned focus to helping others succeed as he has. Having a family immersed in hospitality, Justin sets himself apart by dominating customer service and his communication/negotiation skills give his clients the competitive edge." Justin also advertises his services via his Twitter page, where his work ethic shines through. "There is no elevator to success," he tweeted, "you HAVE to take the stairs."