O.J. Simpson made a last, desperate attempt to woo his ex-wife back on a sun-splashed trip to Mexico just two weeks before she was murdered.
Insiders tell STAR that O.J. and Nicole secretly flew to romantic Baja, where he hope the tropical breezes and warm, intimate nights would help mend their ruined relationship.
Simpson didn't give up easily. He thought it was only a matter of time before his ex would agree to give him another chance. But Nicole couldn't forgive him for the beatings she had suffered during the marriage, and told him she was through with the relationship.
"I've had enough," she said to him. "It's over".
Nicole's refusal to reconcile was grounded in the years of pain and anguish that comprised her hellish marriage. But it hadn't started out that way.
Nicole led a seemingly storybook life that was the envy of all her friends - until her marriage began falling apart.
Friends say the blonde beauty was one of the best-liked and most popular girls in her hometown of Laguna Beach, and seemed to be realizing all her childhood dreams with her jet-set lifestyle.
"She was one of Dana Hills' real beauties, popular not just because of her looks, but because of her sweet personality," says friend Valerie Rigg.
But despite all the expensive toys and dream vacations, Nicole's life was becoming a nightmare.
"I'm still friends with Nicole's family, so I heard it first, but soon the stories were all over town - how O.J. was insanely jealous and had a brutal, violent temper," Rigg says.
"Every few weeks it seemed there was another story about how O.J. had lost it and slapped Nicole around or pulled her hair or threw up up against a wall.
"Laguna's very small and word gets around. Before too long, the whole town knew about it. All her old friends couldn't figure out why Nicole, a woman so beautiful, with so much on the ball, stayed in a relationship that was so unhappy and abusive."
Another friend of Nicole's says that she rejoiced when she heard Nicole was divorcing O.J. that she had "finally found the strength to cut herself off from this dangerous man.
"When we heard they were getting a divorce, we were happy that Nicole had finally found the strength to end it, to get out," says the pal. "I know her mom and sisters were pushing her to call it quits. Nicole had feared for her life for years."
"It took a long time, but she finally got slapped around one too many times. But she still had a soft spot for him, despite all the years of physical abuse.
"And lately there have been rumors that they've been trying to patch up their relationship, that O.J. has become some kind of super-Christian fundamentalist and changed his life
"But the minute I heard on the news that Nicole had been murdered, I called up a friend and said, 'Did you hear the news?'
David LaFontaine Star Magazine (July 5 1994)