Denise Brown Biography

Activist (1957–)
Former model Denise Brown became an activist against domestic violence after the brutal murder of her sister Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994.


Denise Brown started out as a model in the 1970s. By the mid-1980s, she was raising her son Sean on her own while living with her parents in California. Brown’s life was turned upside down in June 1994 when her younger sister Nicole Brown Simpson and her sister’s friend Ron Goldman were murdered. Nicole’s ex-husband O.J. Simpson was later charged with the killings. In the years following Nicole’s death, Denise has dedicated herself to raising awareness about domestic violence.

Early Life

Born on July 29, 1957, in Frankfurt, Germany, Denise Brown is the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson who was brutally murdered in 1994. Denise, one of four daughters, grew up in California with her father Lou and her mother Juditha. According to People magazine, Brown had a happy childhood filled with “dinner with my family every night.” Her father bought Brown and her sisters horses when they were in their teens to keep them “busy and out of trouble.”

Brown went to Dana Hills High School. After graduating, she made her way to New York. She signed with the Ford modeling agency and worked as a model in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1986, Brown returned home to her parents in California with baby son Sean in tow. According to Orange Coast magazine, she said “my goal at the time was to be the best parent I could.”

Nicole Brown Simpson's Death

Brown was busy being a parent when she received devastating news in 1994. On June 12, 1994, Brown’s sister Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered outside of her Brentwood home along with her friend Ron Goldman. Nicole’s ex-husband O.J. Simpson was later charged with the crimes.

Initially unwilling to speak to press about her sister and the case, Brown eventually started publicly accusing her brother-in-law for her sister’s death. She became a witness for the prosecution when O.J. Simpson was brought to trial for Nicole and Ron Goldman’s murders in early 1995. Denise Brown shared details of the abuse Nicole suffered at the hands of her husband during her testimony.

Even after O.J. Simpson was acquitted criminal charges in October 1995, Brown insisted that he was her sister’s killer. He was later found guilty in a wrongful death civil suit, which awarded money to Goldman’s family. Brown clashed with Simpson on a 1998 Fox News Network television program. She continued to maintain that he “murdered Nicole” and called him “a pig, a lowlife” after Simpson insulted her on-air.

Over the years, Brown has spoken out against Simpson. She went to the media in 2006 to oppose Simpson’s intentions to publish a tell-all book about the murders. Brown alleged that News Corp offered her and her family money to not publicly oppose Simpson’s book entitled If I Did It, and a related TV special, according to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report. “We just thought, ‘Oh my God!’ What they’re trying to do is trying to keep us quiet, trying to make this like hush money, trying to go around the civil verdict,” she said.

Social Activist and Speaker

Ever since her sister Nicole’s murder, Brown has been raising awareness about domestic violence and lobbying for legislation to improve the lives of those affected by this issue. She is the co-founder and president of the Nicole Brown Foundation, which her father helped establish in 1994. The following year, Denise began her career as a public speaker, giving lectures on domestic violence. She still travels the country to talk to groups about this important social issue today.

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