Wednesday, October 21, 2015


My Years with O.J. Simpson
A Story of Love, Trust, and Betrayal
by Paula Barbieri
If you're interested in the O.J. Simpson Trial, the relationship he had with his ex-wife Nicole Brown, and his long relationship with Paula,  which went on throughout the infamous trial for the murder of Nicole, you might want to read this one. 
It's interesting, intimate, and honest,  and it does recall a vibrant relationship - until it wasn't - but I've got an issue with it.  The title is all wrong.  There is no reason to think of Paula as THE OTHER WOMAN, she doesn't make any case for that really, and Paula WAS NEVER O.J. SIMPSON's Mistress.  I was actually hoping that by reading this book, because of the title, that I would find out she was, but she doesn't fit any of the criteria I find important in defining Mistress.

What first made me think she had been O.J's mistress was a sentence in the book titled
KATO KAELIN - THE WHOLE TRUTH - The Real Story by Mark Eliot,  in which author Elliot writes on page 60 that OJ was "busy rotating a steady cast of young, willing, sometimes married, mostly single women, including one aspiring actress named Paula Barbieri, who held out serious hope that one day she might become the third Mrs. Simpson."  And then, on page 70, he states that according to Kato Kaelin, O.J. had steady liaisons with one or two Raiderettes (Los Angles Raider cheerleaders), "some who came by regularly," after all he wasn't married, and that he had bought Paula a "nifty little high-rise apartment on fancy Wilshire Boulevard."

Except that O.J. did not. Paula's career as a model kept her traveling and independent and self supporting.  In Paula's book she says she herself, from her earnings as a model, bought herself a house in Florida, as well as that condo.  She was making six figures as her career peaked.  Sadly, because, though she had decided to end their relationship and had left him a message on his answering machine stating so, a message he may have gotten the same evening Nicole was murdered, she also decided to stick with him for the duration of his trial for murder.  She was in Vegas modeling in a music video when the murders occurred. 
When Paula started with O.J., she was divorced, she'd had long term affairs that had not worked out, and he was on his way to divorce.  O.J.'s divorce was finalized while he and Paula were together.  The only hitch that temporarily qualified her for Other Woman Status?.  Nicole and O.J., who were clearly, to me, addicted to each other, probably because of the chaos and on and off again nature of their volatile relationship, gave it another try after their official divorce.  And Paula may have been the only one who wasn't sleeping around too!
Sadly, for all her loyalty and sacrifice, according to the Elliot book, O.J. admitted that he did not love her and would never marry her.

The real story here is how his incarceration and trial sucked her back in to being his girlfriend,  possible something he and his lawyers wanted to give him the image that he had so moved on from Nicole.  He had in Paula, someone he could talk to from prison each morning and night, and someone who would support him.  But all that loyalty destroyed her  health (temporarily) and career (permanently).  She was who lost everything, including her house in Florida and condo in Los Angeles too.  Bookers were afraid, they said, that when someone saw her picture, they wouldn't be thinking about the clothes she was modeling.  I wasn't familiar with her great success until I read this book, thinking unfairly that she was, like Kato Kaelin, a poor person.
Paula turned to Christianity to fulfill her, when, once O.J, was released and able to be a boyfriend again, she realized it really had been all over long ago.
PS:  LAST MONTH NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON was our Mistress of the Month.  Scroll through this blog to find the posts about her!
To read about a Mantress who there's a Hollywood murder-mystery surrounding, check out my posts about Superman!

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