Don’t tell her she needs to find closure. Don’t ask her to forgive and forget.
When Kim was just 22, her older brother, Ron Goldman, was brutally killed by O.J. Simpson. Ron and Kim were very close, and her devastation was compounded by the shocking not guilty verdict that allowed a smirking Simpson to leave as a free man.
It wasn’t Kim’s first trauma. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she and Ron were raised by their father. Her mother kidnapped her, telling her that her father didn’t love her any more. When she was 14, she was almost blinded from severe battery acid burns on her face during an automobile accident, requiring three reconstructive surgeries.
But none of these early traumas compared to the loss of her brother, the painful knowledge that his killer was free, and fact that she could not even grieve privately—her grief was made painfully public. Counseled by friends, strangers, and even Oprah to “find closure,” Kim chose a different route. She chose to fight.
Repeatedly, Kim and her family pursued Simpson by every legal means. Foiled over and over again, they ultimately achieved a small measure of justice.
Kim’s story is one of tragedy, but also of humanity and, often, comedy. Living life as one of America’s most famous “victims” isn’t always easy, especially as a single mother in the dating market. She often had bizarre first date experiences, with one man even breaking down into tears and inconsolable with grief after realizing who she was.
Ultimately Kim’s story is that of an ordinary person thrown into extraordinary circumstances at a very young age, and who had the courage—despite the discouragement of so many—to ignore the conventional wisdom and never give up her fight for justice.
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