Keeping up with O.J. Simpson‘s daughters isn’t easy — and no, we’re not talking about Khloé Kardashian. The disgraced football star is a dad to Arnelle Simpson, his daughter with first wife Marguerite Whitley, and Sydney Simpson, whom he shared with slain wife Nicole Brown Simpson.
However, years before his infamous murder trial for the murders of Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, O.J. was dealing with another family tragedy — the death of his two-year-old daughter Aaren. The third child of O.J.’s marriage with Marguerite was born on Sept. 24, 1977. Two years later, the toddler was rushed to the UCLA medical center where she entered a coma after falling into the family’s pool. She passed away eight days later.
O.J. and Marguerite with Arnelle and Jason in 1973.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, paramedics responded to a call at the athlete’s home on Aug. 18, 1979, and found the child unresponsive on the side of the pool. Using CPR, they were able to revive her but she was placed on life support when she reached the hospital. Aaren’s cause of death was listed as “respiratory failure.”
“My deepest appreciation and thanks go to everyone across the nation whose gestures of prayers, cards, phone calls, and well-wishes sustained our family,” O.J. said in a statement at the time. The Simpsons held a private funeral service with only close family and asked for donations in Aaren’s name be made to the UCLA Cancer Research Center, in lieu of flowers.
Sydney in 2016.
Today, O.J.’s other daughters Arnelle, 49, and Sydney, 32, are living mostly out of the spotlight. Arnelle recently took the stand at her father’s parole hearing where she testified on her father’s behalf. “No one really knows how much we have been through, this ordeal in the last nine years… My experience with him is that he’s like my best friend and my rock,” she said. “And as a family, we recognize that he is not the perfect man, but he is clearly a man and a father who has done his best to behave in a way that speaks to his overall nature and character, which is always to be positive no matter what.”
As for Sydney, she is living in Florida and dating boyfriend Robert Blackmon, who has a criminal record of his own. According to Radar Online, he arrested in 2009 after slamming his Cadillac into a ditch and fleeing the scene. He also ran for a city council seat in St. Petersburg, Fl., but ultimately lost. “If that’s the will of the people, that’s the will of the people… I hope to keep [the campaign] to the issues,” he said at the time, adding that “the entire Simpson family are great people.”
O.J. is also dad to 47-year-old son Jason Simpson, from his first marriage, and Justin Simpson, 29 — who celebrated his dad’s release with a trip to Wal-Mart. However, he did not comment on his dad’s newfound lease on life.