Aaren Lashone Simpson was the youngest child of Orenthal James Simpson, the former American football player who is more popularly known as O. J. Simpson, and his first wife, Marguerite L. Whitley. She had two older siblings and her father went on to have two more children after he married his second wife, Nicole Brown. Not much is known of what transpired in her short life. She passed away in August 1979, after drowning in the pool of their home in California. Aaren’s parents divorced in March 1979. Simpson married Brown in February 1985. That marriage lasted until 1992. In June 1994, Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman were found murdered outside Brown’s condo in Los Angeles. Simpson was the prime suspect in the case and was eventually arrested and tried for both murders. While he was ultimately absolved of the charges in the criminal court, Goldman’s family successfully sued him in a civil court. Despite her death at such a young age, Aaren has become forever associated with her father’s image.
Birth & Family Background
Aaren was born on September 24, 1977, in California, USA, to Simpson and Whitley. Her paternal grandparents were Eunice (née Durden), a hospital administrator, and Jimmy Lee Simpson, a chef and bank custodian. She had one paternal uncle, Melvin Leon, and two paternal aunts, Carmelita and Shirley.
Simpson is a former American football player who won the 1973 NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the 1973 Bert Bell Award. He is a four-time NFL rushing yards leader and two-time NFL rushing touchdowns leader. In 1985, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Aaren’s parents were childhood sweethearts. They exchanged their wedding vows when he was 19 years old, on June 24, 1967. Their first child, a daughter whom they named Arnelle, was born on December 4, 1968. She was followed by their son Jason, who was born on April 21, 1970. Simpson and Whitley divorced in March 1979, about five months prior to Aaren’s death. According to reports, Whitley married twice more after her divorce from Simpson. In 1986, she married transit supervisor Rudolph Lewis. They got divorced in 1991. A year later, she wed furniture sales representative Anthony Thomas. It is unknown whether they are still married or not.
During Simpson’s trial, Whitley made an appearance on ‘20/20’ and told host Barbara Walters that Simpson had never physically abused her while they had been together. She also said that she believed that Simpson had not killed Brown and Goldman.
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On August 18, 1979, Aaren reportedly fell into the family pool. The paramedics were called to the scene and when they arrived, they discovered the toddler’s prone form lying beside the pool. They were able to revive her after performing CPR. She was subsequently put on life support and taken to the UCLA Medical Center. Aaren stayed in coma for the following few days and died of respiratory failure on August 26, 1979, less than a month prior to her second birthday.
Her funeral was a very private affair, attended only by family and close friends. Her parents requested the attendees to donate to the UCLA Cancer Research Center in Aaren’s name. In a statement, Simpson later thanked the people who were grieving alongside the family, stating that their wishes, cards, and prayers helped sustain their family.
Simpson and Brown had known each other since 1977. While he was still wed to Whitley, he started a relationship with Brown. They married on February 2, 1985, and had two children together, daughter Sydney Brooke Simpson (born 1985), and son, Justin Ryan Simpson (born 1988). They couple ultimately parted ways in 1992.
On June 12, 1994, Brown and Goldman were found dead outside the former’s condo in Los Angeles. The police suspected that Simpson had committed the murders and he was arrested. After a lengthy and much-publicized trial, a jury absolved him of the charges. However, Goldman’s family took him to the civil court, where he was penalized $33.5 million for the wrongful deaths of Brown and Goldman.
In 2007, Simpson was apprehended for robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas, Nevada. A year later, he was given a 33-year sentence by a Nevada court.