Additional Evidence Confirms Nicole Simpson’s Diary Entries Fabricated and How Mr. Goldman Went to Sacramento and Successfully Lobbied the California Legislature to Change the Hearsay Law in Order to Allow Fabricated Diaries to be Admitted into Evidence at Civil Trial
Since the publication of our recent article which established that at least one entry in Nicole Brown Simpson’s diary is fraudulent, we have uncovered additional information about the diary which raises additional questions about nearly all of the content of the diary.
Hearsay Rules During the Criminal Trial
As we previously reported, the entries allegedly from Nicole Brown Simpson’s diary were inadmissible under the laws which form the State of California Evidence Code. In fact, had the diary been admitted into evidence in the criminal trial and O.J. Simpson was convicted, the verdict would have been overturned as the California Supreme Court clearly held that it was reversible error to admit hearsay statements by a homicide victim expressing fear of the defendant, even when made on the very day of the murder. Thus, the seven hearsay statements by Nicole Brown Simpson were not admissible under § 1250 (the state of mind hearsay exception).
The same hearsay rules would be applicable in the Goldman family’s civil wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Simpson and the diary as well as other hearsay testimony would have been inadmissible under the laws which form the State of California Evidence Code, unless there was a significant change to California law.
Changing the Hearsay Rules
In response to Mr. Simpson’s acquittal in October 1995, there were several proposed changes to the laws which govern the judicial process in the State of California. One of the measures proposed to reform the criminal justice system was “The Public Safety Protection Act of 1996.” At the centerpiece of this proposed legislation was the abolition of the requirement of unanimity in criminal jury trials, if this legislation had been enacted only ten of twelve jurors would need to agree on a verdict in criminal trials. Curiously, the spokesperson for the “Public Safety Protection Act of 1996” was Fred Goldman. Had the Act been enacted prior to Mr. Simpson’s criminal trial, the verdict would have been rendered prior to the read back of limo driver Allan Park’s testimony.
However the criminal justice reform which Mr. Goldman advocated most passionately was a reform that would change the rules of evidence in his wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Simpson. Following Mr. Simpson’s acquittal, Fred Goldman harnessed his notoriety and the public backlash to the verdict to lobby the State of California Legislature to pass legislation which would significantly expand the hearsay rules and to do so prior to the start of the civil trial.
Understanding the New Hearsay Standard
(a) Evidence of a statement by the declarant is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The statement purports to narrate, describe, or explain the infliction or threat of physical injury upon the declarant.
(2) The declarant is unavailable as a witness pursuant to § 240.
(3) The statement was made at or near the time of the infliction or threat of physical injury. Evidence of statements more than five years before the filing of the current action or proceeding shall be inadmissible under this section.
(4) The statement was made under circumstances that would indicate its trustworthiness.
(5) The statement was made in writing, was electronically recorded, or made to a law enforcement official.
(b) For purposes of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), circumstances relevant to the issue of trustworthiness include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Whether the statement was made in contemplation of pending or anticipated litigation in which the declarant was interested.
(2) Whether the declarant has a bias or motive for fabricating the statement, and the extent of any bias or motive.
(3) Whether the statement is corroborated by evidence other than the statements that are admissible only pursuant to this section.
(c) A statement is admissible pursuant to this section only if the proponent of the statement makes known to the adverse party the intention to offer the statement and the particulars of the statement sufficiently in advance of the proceedings in order to provide the adverse party with a fair opportunity to prepare to meet the statement.
The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Opposition to the Change to the Hearsay Rules
- The legislation allows witness statements — not made under oath, nor with any opportunity for the criminal defendant to cross-examine the witness — to be offered as the truth in trial regarding the inflection or threat of harm.
- According to the ACLU, Article I, section 15 of the California Constitution declares that a person charged with a crime in our courts has the right ‘to be confronted with witnesses against [him].’ In California v Green, 399 U.S. 149 (1970), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a defendant’s right to confrontation is the right to ‘full and effective cross-examination.’
- As with any exception to the hearsay rule, there is no way for the jury to view the demeanor, to evaluate the credibility or truthfulness, or accuracy of perception of the witness when cross-examined concerning the basis of his statement. However, the problem with this legislation is that untruthful (though ‘trustworthy’) statements will be admitted for the ‘truth of the matter stated.’
- Allowing someone to offer testimony about an oral statement is especially problematic because there are the added filters of recollection and perception which might render a ‘trustworthy’ statement untruthful.
The wise guidance from the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization was no challenge for Mr. Goldman’s ability to harness public sentiment to successfully lobby both houses of the California Legislature who passed the change to the hearsay laws in the summer of 1996. On September 4, 1996 California Governor Pete Wilson signed the new exception for hearsay testimony of physical abuse into law. The California legislature made the evidentiary statute effective immediately in order to permit the admission of relevant evidence of physical abuse in various criminal and civil proceedings; most notably a case which would begin days later: the Goldman family’s wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Simpson.
The Fruits of the Change to the Hearsay Rules
The Goldman family filed their wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Simpson on June 9, 1995. This is an important date because the five-year clause stated in § 1370 section (a) (3) means that any hearsay evidence that could be admitted under § 1370 would have occurred after June 9, 1990.
The new section of the hearsay rules was pushed so hard by Mr. Goldman for one purpose: to admit the 1994 entry (which we now understand to have been fabricated) into evidence at the civil trial. Frankly, it is the material which was most damaging to Mr. Simpson. More importantly, the plaintiff’s case argued that the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman was a result of a pattern of escalating domestic violence. Understanding that the evidence from New Year’s Day 1989 incident of domestic abuse would be admissible in the civil lawsuit, the plaintiff’s desperately needed additional evidence to establish any evidence of physical abuse occurring following January 1, 1989; without such evidence their entire argument regarding the motive for the murders completely crumbles.
While the plaintiff’s did have the October 25, 1993 call to 911, there was no physical abuse on that night and Nicole Brown Simpson was secretly recorded by LAPD Sgt Craig Lally stating that Mr. Simpson had not hit her in four years. This incident does not serve to support an argument of increasing domestic violence.
Therefore the May/June 1994 diary entry was critically important to the plaintiff’s entire case. The only way to achieve the admission of this diary entry into evidence was to change the law and that’s exactly what Mr. Goldman achieved.
As a result of getting the May/June 1994 Diary entry admitted into evidence, the plaintiffs were able to introduce the testimony of additional hearsay witnesses whose testimony could support the claims included in the May/June 1994 diary entries.
Without Mr., Goldman’s successful lobbying of the California legislature to both change and enact the law prior to the start of the civil trial, the last act of domestic violence that the plaintiffs could present would be the January 1, 1989 incident. To say that the change to the hearsay rules had a major impact on the civil trial would be a huge understatement.
The Far-Reaching Implications of the New Law
The far-reaching implications of Mr. Goldman’s successful lobbying efforts have been to enshrine into California law a violation of a defendant’s rights under both the United States Constitution and State of California’s Constitution to confront witnesses against him [or her]. Additionally, Mr. Goldman’s efforts have significantly lowered the bar in terms of the credibility of evidence that could be deemed admissible. Thanks to Mr. Goldman’s successful, selfish lobbying efforts rumor and innuendo can be used against defendants in the State of California.
The Admission of False Evidence in the Civil Trial
An April 1997 article by B.J. Palermo in the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal titled “A Rush to Reform” examined various criminal justice reforms which were proposed following Mr. Simpson’s October 1995 acquittal. Palermo writes:
Yet another reform is an exception to the hearsay rule passed by the [California] Legislature in 1995. It allows into evidence statements that are recorded, written or made to police by victims of domestic violence describing their injuries or threats of injury. The statements must be made at or near the time of the incident and must have occurred within five years of the filing of the case in which admission is sought.
Most of the statements about spousal abuse in the Simpson case did not fall within that time frame, however, Judge Fujisaki did admit many of the diaries and letters of Nicole Brown Simpson into evidence, but on a different ground – to show her state of mind.
Loyola Law School Professor Stanley Goldman criticizes both Fujisaki’s ruling and the Legislature’s action. The ruling is suspect, he says, because the victim’s state of mind is irrelevant in this case. And the law, he says, was an unfair response.
“Changing the rules in midstream is a bad idea,” he says. “And this was so biased in its construction that it could only be applied to statements against Simpson, not to statements in his defense.”
Professor Stanley Goldman [no relation] rightly notes that the pre-1990 material was deemed admissible by Judge Fujasaki using a standard which directly contradicted Judge Ito’s wise ruling in the criminal trial which followed the standard set by the California Supreme Court. The post-1990 material, mainly the May/June 1994 diary entries were deemed admissible under the newly enacted hearsay rules under § 1370.
One of the key aspects of the newly enacted additions to the evidence code is the authentication of the material. According to the Associated Press the material said to be Nicole Brown Simpson’s diary was authenticated by her father Lou Brown.
Chain of Custody
In their books both Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden indicate that Nicole Brown Simpson’s diary was found in the safe deposit box she had at a bank located in the same building as O.J. Simpson’s office. However, when examining both books for additional details and examining transcripts from the criminal trial, it is our conclusion that the attorneys are referring to the list of incidents alleged to have occurred between 1979-1989. This is the list which Nicole Brown Simpson’s divorce attorneys asked her to create for potential use in her divorce from Mr. Simpson.
When one considers that all of the materials in the safe deposit box were related to the January 1, 1989 incident [press reports, LAPD Polaroid photos, letters of apology from Mr. Simpson], this seems plausible.
The origin of the other alleged diary entries is far more curious. According to a 1997 report in the Los Angeles Times, on June 17, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson’s cousin said he found an envelope stamped and addressed to Louis Brown, court documents say. Her diary was later found inside.
It is our belief that the male cousin referred to in the Los Angeles Times report is Rolf Baur.
The date of discovery is also curious as Nicole Brown Simpson’s best friend, Cora Fishman, testified that everything at the 875 South Bundy Drive condo was packed up on June 14, 1994. Cora Fishman also testified that upon her arrival to the condo Rolf Baur and Ron Hardy were using hoses to wash away any blood remnants on the walkways outside the home and the front and back gates (Yes, the back gate where a pristine blood drop was discovered by LAPD weeks later was washed down on June 14, 1994).
How the National Enquirer Obtained the Diary
Billionaire Wayne Hughes, the founder of Public Storage, was the guardian in probate matters for Sydney and Justin Simpson’s estate. In July 1997 Hughes filed papers demanding that the Browns repay the children for profits they made from selling Nicole Brown’s belongings. A settlement was reached in December 1997. Hughes claimed that the children were entitled to $100,000 that the Browns made when they sold Nicole Simpson’s diaries to the National Enquirer
National Enquirer Version vs Version in Evidence
According an October 17, 1995 article by the Associated Press: Nicole Brown Simpson’s diary is in possession of the court according to Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. The family has a copy, and the prosecution and defense do also. Gibbons said she did not know if the diary filed with the court and the one quoted by the tabloid were the same.
An Additional Fabricated Component of The May/June 1994 Diary Entry
We have previously demonstrated that the Memorial Day 1994 portion of the May/June 1994 diary entries (aka “Slide 10”) is a fabrication or false evidence. In the days since the publication of our exclusive report, we have learned that another component of the May/June 1994 diary entry was also fabricated.
The entry alleged to have been written by Nicole Brown Simpson on June 3, 1994 focuses on the infamous IRS letter.
However, the “IRS letter” was not delivered (by hand) to Nicole Brown Simpson until June 6, 1994. (3 days after the entry was made).
How does one write a diary entry about a letter that she has no knowledge of and will not receive for three days?
We know from testimony during the civil trial that the letter was written by Mr. Simpson’s lawyer Skip Taft on June 6, 1994 and hand-delivered to Nicole Simpson that day.
It is absolutely stunning to comprehend the impact that Fred Goldman’s successful lobbying of the California legislature had on the civil trial and the mountain of false evidence the change in the law enabled to be used against Mr. Simpson in the civil trial.
It should be noted that with only a handful of high-profile exceptions, one would be hard-pressed to find prosecutions for perjury as a result of one’s deposition or testimony in a civil lawsuit.