Children may be returned to their father

OJ SIMPSON : THE AFTERMATH

TIM CORNWELL

Los Angeles

The family of Nicole Brown Simpson signalled yesterday that they may be prepared to return Justin Simpson, seven, and Sydney, nine, to the care of their father, rather than subject them to a bitter legal tug-of- war

Lawyers for both sides were talking about a reunion and a possible joint custody agreement.

After his acquittal on Tuesday, OJ Simpson made it clear that he intended to ask for custody of his children. "My first obligation is to my young children, who will be raised in the way that Nicole and I had always planned," he said in a statement read by a son from his first marriage, Jason.

The fate of the two children is now an emotive issue, promising to be the latest poignant episode of the OJ Simpson soap opera.

They were upstairs sleeping when Nicole and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally murdered in a bloody struggle in the grounds of her home.

While the family of the other victim, Ron Goldman, have made no secret of their belief that Simpson is guilty, Nicole's parents have been much more discreet.

Her father, Lou Brown, said he was prepared to "assimilate" with the father of his grandchildren. "A reason a lot can be overlooked is the children," he said. "The children are our lives."

The Brown family are still party to a civil law suit filed against Simpson for damages from their daughter's death, but its fate is uncertain.

They would "pack those kids' bags and, with all the class and dignity they have, send them back ... They did not disparage O.J ... They will come home to a father that they love," a family friend told the Los Angeles Times.

However, Nicole's mother, Juditha Brown, said yesterday that she did not expect Mr Simpson to reclaim the children immediately. "He would like to get acquainted with the children again ... I think he is reasonable enough to know that the children have a good life here, that they find strength and love in this house."

Ms Brown said that they had informed the two small children of the outcome as soon as they returned to their Southern California home.

"Yes, we told them 'Daddy's free' They were happy. They love Daddy. We have never said anything negative about Daddy to them," she said.

"Our grandchildren now have a father that's a free man, whereas they have no mother regardless of her situation. But at least they have one parent to back up their life," Nicole's father added.

Legal analysts said that although Mr Simpson had been declared innocent of any crime, evidence from the murder trial could be introduced into a custody fight, and could weigh heavily against him.

That would include taped evidence of a violent abuse recorded during emergency phone calls that Nicole made to the Los Angeles police.

Sydney and Justin have been living with their grandparents in conservative Orange County, where Nicole grew up.

On visits to the local supermarket, the family called ahead to arrange for any tabloids and magazines which were carrying lurid coverage of the OJ murder case to be removed from the shelves.

The Browns were granted temporary custody of the children when Mr Simpson was first held in jail. In court papers, Mr Simpson's lawyers made it clear that he expected "to resume his legal and physical custody ... upon his release from incarceration". Although Mr Simpson talked to the children once a week by phone, they did not visit their father.

Faye Resnick, a friend of Nicole's who wrote a sensationalist book about her life, apparently spoke for many family members when she said: "Oh God! Nicole was right. She said he was going to kill her and get away with it. He always said he was above the law."

Friends of the couple disagree about how much attention the children actually received before and after the couple broke up.

Nicole, who enjoyed the high life among the Los Angeles party set, used to drive the children around in a white Ferrari paid for by Mr Simpson, full of family litter, coins and toys. "That was the car ... It just so happened that her station wagon was a Ferrari," said her sister Dominique Brown.

The children come up frequently in recorded telephone conversations between the Simpsons, revealed at the trial.

"Please leave, OJ. Please, the kids; the kids are sleeping," Nicole is heard saying in one call.

A voice identified as OJ's comes back: "You didn't give a fuck about the kids when you were fucking in the living room. Who cared for the kids then?"

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of her eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments