See that photo above? That’s O.J. Simpson and his first wife, Marguerite Whitley, posing at a movie premiere in 1977. But didn’t O.J. start dating Nicole Brown that year, as we established above? Yes, that is absolutely right, but it is also correct that he was doing so while still married to Marguerite, the mother of his two school-age children, Arnelle and Jason. The couple also had a third child, Aaren, who was born in 1977 but died about a month before her second birthday after accidentally drowning in the family’s swimming pool, according to E! Online.
It was only in 1979 when O.J. and Marguerite finally divorced, ending a marriage that lasted 12 years. Per The New York Times, O.J. was only 19 and Marguerite 18 when they tied the knot on June 24, 1967, in their hometown of San Francisco. Theirs appeared to be a turbulent union, with the publication noting that they temporarily separated multiple times. The first of these momentary splits took place in 1970, and three years after that, Marguerite was contemplating filing for divorce from O.J., though plans to start proceedings were ultimately nixed. Apparently, it was Simpson’s increasing celebrity status that progressively tore them apart. “She lent an element of stability to him — mother, homemaker, things like that,” recalled lawyer Harry Fain, who represented Marguerite during her divorce from O.J. “Then he becomes a celebrity and the marriage begins to fail.”
Although O.J. repeatedly accused Marguerite of threatening physical violence against him, Fain told The New York Times that he wasn’t aware of any actual violent incidents between the couple.