Denise Brown Reveals the Tragic Response Her Mother Had to Nicole Brown Simpson's Death

The phone rang at 6:15 a.m. which was followed by screaming. Denise ran to her parents' bedroom where she found her mother on her knees.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 23 2024, Published 1:23 p.m. ET

Gravesite of Nicole Brown Simpson
Source: Getty Images

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Phone calls were a small but important part of the O.J. Simpson trial. It began in January 1995, seven months after Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered, and lasted an exhausting eight months. The proceedings were more of an event and would be dubbed the trial of the century because it was broadcast internationally and was the most heavily publicized trial to date. It isn't an exaggeration to say people were glued to their television sets.

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And while there was certainly a lot of pageantry involved, particularly when it came to Simpson's lawyer Johnnie Cochran, there were painful moments as well. At one point, a recording of a frantic 9-1-1 call made by Nicole in October 1993 was played for the court. On the call, she is heard saying "He's going to beat me" because Simpson wouldn't leave her home. A call that wasn't heard was the one made to Nicole's family letting them know what happened. Her mom was devastated by it. Here's what we know.

Nicole Brown Simpson's mother Juditha (R), and sisters Denise (C) and Tanya (L) sit next to her grave surrounded by flowers
Source: Getty Images
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Nicole Brown Simpson's mom fell to her knees when she heard the news of her daughter's death.

Nicole had three full sisters and three half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Following her sister's murder, Denise Brown began advocating for victims of domestic violence. She was an integral part of getting the Violence Against Women Act passed in September 1994, per Variety. While speaking with Rebecca Rubin ahead of the June 2024 release of a Lifetime movie about Nicole Brown Simpson, Denise recalled finding out about Nicole's murder.

She was at her parents' house when the phone rang. "I’ll never forget the time. I’ll never forget the day," she told the outlet. The phone rang at 6:15 a.m. which was followed by screaming. Denise ran to her parents' bedroom where she found her mother on her knees. "Nicole's been killed," she said. In an exclusive interview with People, Denise described the sound coming from her mother's mouth as "gut-wrenching." Having seen Nicole the night before, Denise thought it was a joke.

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She grabbed the phone from her mother's hand and was told the same horrifying news. The detective said, "Your sister's been killed." All she could say was, "Oh my God, he did it, he finally did it." Denise was referring to O.J. Simpson, and she never stopped believing he was responsible for murdering her sister as well as Ron Goldman. He was there that evening returning Nicole's mother's eyeglasses after she left them at a restaurant where he was a server.

 Los Angeles Police criminalist Andrea Mazzola removes the eyeglasses of Juditha Brown from a bloody envelope during the O.J. Simpson murder trial
Source: Getty Images
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Juditha Brown was the matriarch of the family and as such, showed strength when she could. After Simpson was acquitted, a civil lawsuit was filed against him by the Brown and Goldman families. In December 1996, Juditha testified that at Nicole's funeral, "O.J. Simpson leaned over his ex-wife's coffin at her wake, kissed her on the lips and murmured, 'I'm so sorry, Nicki. I'm so sorry,'" per The Record.

On Nov. 8, 2020, Juditha passed away peacefully at her home in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Her obituary said she was a woman of poise and grace who "in 1994 at almost 70 years of age, became a mother to her two grandchildren, Sydney and Justin." She was also caring for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, while she was battling breast cancer.

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What happened to Nicole Brown Simpson's dad?

On July 5, 2014, People reported that Nicole Brown Simpson's father passed away at age 90. He had finally succumbed to his "long battle with Alzheimer’s disease," Denise told the outlet. "My dad was a class act and a gentleman who was always there for us — and for Nicole," she added. “He was a great dad. We are all devastated that he is gone.”

Tanya Brown, Louis Brown, Dominique Brown, and Juditha Brown attend the 'Assassins' Opening Night Performance on March 31, 1995
Source: Getty Images

(L-R): Tanya Brown, Louis Brown, Dominique Brown, and Juditha Brown

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After his daughter's death, Louis Brown started a nonprofit organization meant to help victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, the organization was plagued with problems. According to The Seattle Times, the "founding president of the Nicole Brown Simpson fund, records show, is a convicted felon and accused spousal batterer, who was once named in a domestic restraining order for posing a 'clear and present danger' to his estranged wife and two children."

Louis asked this man to step down after receiving a tip from a tabloid reporter. "I guess you'd call us novices," he said to The Seattle Times. "I get bitter with myself for thinking how stupid we were." The nonprofit organization was also accepting money from questionable donors such as Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione and "Dove Audio, publisher of Faye Resnick's sexually explicit book about Nicole, which Louis Brown denounced as 'trash.'" The organization is no longer active.

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