What Happened to O. J. Simpson’s First Wife Marguerite L. Whitley? Is She Still Alive?
O.J. Simpson, once a beloved American personality, became one of the most controversial and hated people after his 1995 murder trial. He was accused of killing his second wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
He was acquitted at the end of the sensational and confusing trial, but there is no shortage of people who believe he was guilty. One person, however, never believed he did anything he was accused of.
That was his first wife, Marguerite Whitley. While the trial was taking place, which was almost three decades ago, she stood silently but firmly on his side, despite being divorced from him for over a decade.
Now, though, she has disappeared into obscurity, only ever coming up when the subject of Simpson's trial gets raised.
What Happened to O. J. Simpson's First Wife Marguerite Whitley?
The short answer is — nobody knows. Whitley simply disappeared after her marriage with Simpson ended. However, it is worth looking back at how her life was with Simpson and what followed their divorce all those years ago.
Whitley and Simpson were high school sweethearts and got married — when he was 19 and she 18 — on June 24, 1967. After their marriage, the former couple lived in Amherst, Buffalo, as he started playing football for Buffalo Bills in 1969.
Theirs was a marriage troubled by domestic issues. By early 1970, they began facing marital problems, even separating temporarily at times.
1973 saw Whitley's first attempt for divorce, something she later called off. The main cause for their problems? His rising fame.
After moving to California in 1977, Simpson accused Whitley of, as the New York Times reported, "threatening him with physical force." This became one of the last straws for their marriage, which ended in 1979.
They separated for good in 1978, just six days before the first birthday of their third kid.
The couple had three children during their time together — Arnelle, Jason, and a third kid, daughter Aaren, who died because of drowning in 1979, the year their divorce was finalized.
Upon their separation, except for court battles with Simpson over unpaid divorce settlements, she lived a quiet life. With the $1,500/month child support she received, she disappeared, and her name only came up when Simpson's name came up.
Whitley's second marriage with Rudolph Lewis happened on July 9, 1986, and their divorce followed on April 3, 1991. And her third was with someone named Anthony Thomas on April 3, 1992.
She lived in a gated San Vincente neighborhood in Los Angeles, usually out of the media spotlight. Even her neighbors did not see her that often.
Whitley fell into financial difficulties in her later life, dealing with property foreclosures and sales.
Marguerite Whitley Always Supported O. J. Simpson
Despite all their marital problems, their divorce lawyer found no evidence of domestic violence on his side. Even the police department in Buffalo said they received no distress calls from the Simpson household when they lived there.
It was Simpson who filed the divorce papers that would later mark the end of their marriage.
Marguerite Whitley, O. J. Simpson's first wife, claimed Simpson never hit her during their marriage. (Photo: Orlando Sentinel/Twitter)
During an interview with Barbara Walters in 1995, Whitley (full name - Marguerite L. Whitley) said Simpson had never hit her, even saying, "If he did, he would have got a frying pan upside his head. There was just no way that I would allow that to happen to me."
Further, she also said she would be willing to testify the same if called upon and admitted she thought Simpson was innocent. "He’s just not like that," said Whitley.
The last time she and her children were seen properly was at the trial itself, where she quietly sat and did not give interviews.