Arnelle Simpson was born in December 1968 to O.J. Simpson and his first wife, Marguerite L. Whitley. The couple had two other children (Jason and Aaren) but lost their second daughter to a tragic drowning incident when she was just a baby.
Arnelle and her brother were very young when their father went on trial. She became one of the most recognizable Simpson siblings – partly due to being O.J.’s oldest daughter and her unwavering support for him throughout the trial.
The Jury Acquits O.J. Simpson
The jury began deliberating on October 2, 1995, and it took them less than four hours to reach a verdict. On October 3, 1995, the jury found O.J. not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. The unthinkable had happened, and he was acquitted.
The victims' families were in disbelief. The public's opinion continued to center around racial lines hours after the verdict. Many African-Americans saw the verdict as a victory against a racist legal system. For other Americans, it seemed the courts had allowed a violent criminal to walk free.
Civil Proceedings Against O.J. Begin
O.J. had emerged relatively unscathed from the criminal case. Although he was found not guilty of murder charges, the victim’s families sued him for wrongful death. Civil trial proceedings began in October 1996, and just four months after, a jury found him guilty of the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.
The court ordered O.J. to pay the victim’s families $33.5 million in damages. While not the kind of justice they had envisioned, the verdict gave the Browns and Goldmans a semblance of closure.
Arnelle's Personal Struggles
While vocal about her father’s innocence, the murder trial understandably took a grave emotional toll on Arnelle. The father-daughter relationship grew strained after the courts acquitted him of murder charges. O.J. allegedly accused Arnelle of slacking off and defaulting mortgage payments on his Florida home.
Sources say she struggled with a drinking problem during this period. Father and daughter repeatedly fought about her drinking. It reached a point where O.J. tried to get Arnelle married so she would stop living in his house.
Arnelle Has Stood by O.J. Through Everything
Arnelle has remained a support system for O.J. through the years. She appeared at every court date during the trial, testifying and making emotional appeals on behalf of her father. Arnelle maintained that O.J. was innocent. She was truly convinced her father was remorseful about her stepmother’s death.
When the cops arrested O.J. again for kidnapping and robbery, he put Arnelle in charge of his estate. She was single-handedly responsible for his money while he was serving time in prison.