Mother, 2 sisters, daughter stand firm

  Jonathan T. Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 04A

  (Copyright 1995)


  LOS ANGELES - From the day O.J. Simpson was arrested, four women stood

  by their man: his mother, two sisters and oldest daughter.


  They were unwavering in their support. And Tuesday, they were undying in their



  "I knew that my son was innocent," said his mother, Eunice, who uses a

  wheelchair. "I had the support of so many people all over the world."


  "I just feel like standing on top of this table and dancing a jig," said sister Shirley



  "We were very prayerful and on an emotional roller coaster," said sister

  Carmelita Simpson-Durio. "When one would break down, the others would come

  together and lift us up. And then the next one would break down. We were just

  all there for each other."


  "We're a very strong family and we stick together," said Arnelle, the oldest of

  Simpson's four children.


  "We believed that no matter what was going to happen that God was going to

  take care of it. Just knowing that, we knew we were going to do it."


  They also were quick to strike out when they believed O.J. Simpson was unfairly

  attacked. Last week, when victim Ronald Goldman's father, Fred, blasted defense

  lawyer Johnnie Cochran's closing argument, Simpson's family rose to the



  Shirley Baker said the attack was "wrong . . . even when you're hurting."


  The Simpson family members maintained a cordial relationship with Nicole

  Brown's family, caretakers of the younger Simpson children, despite the families'

  disagreement over the trial.


  "At the courthouse, Juditha Brown spoke to the other grandmother, Eunice.

  They've shared grandmother stories with each other," said the Browns' lawyer,

  Gloria Allred. "The Brown family does not blame any other member of the

  Simpson family for what has occurred."

  PHOTO,b/w,Myung J. Chun