Why I Left the Sweetest-Talking, Most Successful Black Lawyer in L.A.
C 1995 by both authors.
Basic books - Harper Collins
Written 18 years after her divorce from Johnnie.
JOHNNIE COCHRAN was one of Southern California's elite Black society defense lawyers, the go-to guy, and when he died of a brain tumor several years ago in 2005, his funeral was a major event of family, colleagues, and clients. He had defended common people from prejudice and celebrities for whom his only agenda was to win.
Though to this day there are those who believe that O.J. Simpson was guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman, the unlucky man who arrived at Nicole's to return a pair of eyeglasses left at the restaurant where he worked, the 1995 trial kept viewers captivated as they watched what legal defense wealth could afford.
Over the last several months actors have been hired to star in a FX channel miniseries due to be released in 2016 and based on the trial called "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson." Cuba Gooding Jr. will play O.J. Simpson. Courtney B. Vance will play Johnnie. John Travolta will play lawyer Robert Shapiro. (They've even got a Kato Kaelin look-alike!)** So for those of you who didn't get to watch it in it's original reality TV form, check it out.
J.C. was admired for his legal work, known for his way of chanting a rhyme he made up such as the one about a leather glove that could have been the killers that goes kind of like this, "If it (the glove) does not fit, you must acquit." He was considered not just clever and intelligent but charming.
BARBARA JEAN BERRY was JOHNNIE COCKRAN's wife - from 1959 until about 1978. She arrived at the altar a virgin. She met J.C. while both were students at UCLA and married him while he was in law school. They began attending the Second Baptist Church together while engaged. Barbara became an elementary school teacher. They were considered to be pillars of the Black Community and a couple to model by their friends. They had two daughters together. J.C. was ambitious for his legal practice and was busy socially as well, feeling he should be here, there, and everywhere, meeting people, shaking hands, networking to bring in business.
Was he just busy networking to develop a thriving and interesting legal career? Barbara tolerated it when JC came home later and later. Even his weekend trips to other cities were explained as research. But as she became suspicious, Barbara hired a private investigator.
"John was indeed going to basketball games. But after the game he went to the home of a Patricia SIkora, who lived in Eagle Rock, a white suburban area. The detective said he got there at 11:30 ... the lights went out by 11:45. The lights came back on again at 12:45 and he left her house by 1 am. (page 76)
"Only later. with the help of Patricia Cochran, formerly Patricia Sikora of the detective's report, was I finally able to unravel the web of lies he began weaving in 1966. (Page 95)
PATRICIA SIKORA, who never did get the marriage promised to her, and actually Johnnie got himself another wife named Dale Mason, but she did have a son by him in 1973 and legally changed her name to Cochran. She was Johnnie's long term mistress for much of the time he was married to Barbara. While Johnnie kept both women all tied up with manipulative lies that had them both guessing and unable to make a break with him, he still had affairs with other women. So it is revealed in this depressing, devastating, Johnnie Cochran- myth shattering book.
This book also gives us here at MISTRESS MANIFESTO a very unusual opportunity. You see, PATRICIA SIKORA COHRAN and BARBARA COCHRAN became friends. For years they knew of each other but what they thought of each other was designed by J.C. Eventually they were able to compare stories, realize how much they had in common, and it was then that they realized just how much they had both been lied to. Until then they had gotten along for the sake of their children by him.
"PATRICIA SIKORA, a young blonde, blue-eyed legal secretary, was working at the Union Bank in Los Angeles in the bank properties division when she met John. It was just about the time he first went into practice, an he wanted to lease a small office in the Union Bank building n Wilshire. One of the leasing agents in Patty's office felt sorry for the young attorney and revealed to Patty that John had had to use his wife's mink jacket as collateral when he signed the lease. Since Patty was separated from her husband and looking for a divorce lawyer, the agent suggested that she might consider hiring John as her attorney
She did. John must have been quite taken with the pretty, vulnerable young woman who walked into his office seeking a divorce. Ironically enough, given John's later career, the man Patty was divorcing was a Police officer. More important at the time was that Patty had been brought up a devout Catholic and was heartsick that her marriage was ending in divorce - like me, she had been raise to think of marriage as forever.
John took the case, and , while representing her, began his seduction. He started sending Patty flowers and gifts - to cheer her up through a difficult time, he said..." (Pages 67-68)____
According to another source, Johnnie and Patricia did have a home together in North Hollywood, California.
J.C. had every reason or excuse for why he wasn't divorcing or why he wasn't marrying and his own parents conspired to keep him married as they shared in the belief that his reputation in the community was most important. Eventually, the day came that J.C. asked Barbara to lie to reporters that they'd had a great marriage, that he was a great guy. That day came when he became an O.J. Simpson case lawyer.
When Johnnie Cochran took on the O.J. Simpson case, it was like he was a horse at the back of the race who overtakes all others to win, for there were several other lawyers, including O.J..'s good friend Robert Kardashian, father of those now famous for being famous sisters, who were there to defend O.J. The press called all of O.J.'s lawyers The Dream Team. What the American Public did not know was that in Johnnie Cochran. Simpson had hired a man who battered his own wife a few times, and who could be verbally abusive to her.
Focusing on this book as a primary resource of information, I'll excerpt some of the most important passages about Johnnie and Barbara and Patricia.
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