Tanya Brown admitted she tried to take her life 10 years after the tragic loss of her sister.
Her ex-husband, former football star O.J. Simpson, was acquitted of the double homicide charges in 1995. The murder case is officially listed as unsolved.
“I attempted a suicide,” Nicole’s youngest sibling revealed on “The Dr. Oz Show” in an episode airing Tuesday.
Brown shared that she struggled with the pain for years and didn’t know how to cope anymore.
Tanya Brown, the youngest sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, appeared in an episode of ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ airing Tuesday.
(Sony Pictures Television)
“I went big,” she continued. “But it wasn’t just from unresolved grief and pain from Nicole, it was numerous other losses. I lost a lot of friends of mine when I was in high school, a couple of best friends right after high school, and then the trigger happened, the cancellation of my wedding and that was a trigger that mentally and emotionally needed for me to go, ‘Wow, you know what? I have so much unresolved pain, grief, even anger.’”
“I had a lot of anger towards Nicole that she had so many opportunities to tell me about what she was going through and she didn’t,” said Brown. “Obviously, when you go into a psych unit, you’re encouraged to feel the pain and the chaos, and that’s what happened to me 10 years later, and thank God I had that trigger happen to me. I am who I am today because of that.”
Nicole’s marriage behind closed doors was far from a happy one. O.J. reportedly abused his wife regularly. In 1989, he pleaded no contest to a charge of spousal battery. In her diary, Nicole wrote how O.J. allegedly abused her on 60 different occasions and the abuse ranged from destroying her car to throwing her up against a wall.
The diaries were reportedly found in Nicole’s safe deposit box in addition to photos of her beaten and bruised body, along with letters allegedly written by O.J. apologizing for his attacks.
Nicole Brown and OJ Simpson
(Photo by Gary Leonard/Corbis via Getty Images)
In 1992, Nicole left O.J. and filed for divorce.
Brown said that despite her anger, she now understands why her sister didn’t open up to her before the murders.
“You know what? A lot of victims, they don’t want to come forward and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, the person that I’m with,’ whether a male or female partner,” she told Dr. Oz, 60. “It’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed that here people may have seen it, but I still engaged in this relationship.”
“They’re scared, they’re embarrassed, there’s a lot of shame that goes with holding or leaving behind the life of a domestic violence victim,” Brown pointed out. “They’re very embarrassed and they’re scared. What people need to understand is that what we see on the outside is totally different than what happens behind the closed doors of a home.”
Tanya Brown detailed on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ how her family moved forward over the years.
(Sony Pictures Television)
According to Brown, O.J. was “charismatic” in the public eye. Therefore, there was no inkling of what his home life may have really been like. But Brown stressed that her sister “basically was being treated like a circus animal.”
“There are many other journal entries that I will never share that are very private,” she added.
But the one thing that kept Brown going over the years was her family and their willingness to stick together after enduring such a horrific tragedy.
“I remember… right after the acquittal, it was like, how I describe it, going up a roller coaster or waiting for that anticipation of the verdict and then a release, then you go downhill,” she recalled. “I remember immediately after, my mom just sat very stoically in her chair in his office and said, ‘OK, kids, we’ve to go get [Simpson’s children] Sidney and Justin. [O.J.’s] a free man.’”
Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were murdered on June 12, 1994.
“She said this, she goes, ‘It is what it is and we can’t do anything about it,’” said Brown. “That’s how we’ve moved on. I firmly believe I had great role models in the healing process, and that’s my mom and my dad, even though some healing or the lack of bit me in the butt 10 years later. However, the ability to be able to accept surrender to the what is really helped all of us.”
Ron Shipp, a former Los Angeles police officer who was friends with the couple, also spoke out in the true-crime special. Shipp told Fox News that he too was surprised about the devastating diary entries Nicole left behind.
“When Tanya’s reading them, it was a tearjerker for me and my wife,” he said. “It’s like reliving the whole thing. I didn’t know they existed, but when you hear Nicole just pouring out her heart and what she’s feeling, it’s horrible. It’s sad that something couldn’t be done earlier. Towards the end, when Tanya’s reading the part about Nicole saying a prayer – it’s like a rhyme, but it’s a prayer. Man, if this doesn’t eat you up … My wife and I — we were in tears.”
Nicole Brown Simpson is seen bruised and battered in this photograph that was shown to the jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial. Nicole’s sister Denise Brown testified that she took these pictures to document injuries at the hands of O.J. Simpson.
Shipp said he didn’t think twice to testify against the Hall of Fame hero. During the “Trial of the Century,” Shipp endured intense cross-examination. The defense attempted to portray him as a lying sycophant with an alcohol problem.
During the trial, Nicole’s entries were not admitted into evidence because they were considered hearsay by the judge. However, O.J. was reportedly questioned about them during deposition leading up to the trial, in which he denied what was in the entries.
In 1997, after the victims’ families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against O.J., a civil court awarded a $33.5 million restitution to both families. He later served nine years in prison for robbery and kidnapping over an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. He was released in 2017. The now 73-year-old has always maintained his innocence in the killings.
Nicole Brown Simpson filed for divorce from O.J. Simpson in 1992.
(Vinnie Zuffante/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.