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Simpson Will Keep His Children

May 10, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ O.J. Simpson will keep custody of his two young children in a settlement with the parents of his slain ex-wife, his lawyer said Monday.

The agreement, which still requires the signatures of Lou and Juditha Brown, heads off a second trial over the custody of 13-year-old Sydney and Justin, 10.

``It’s in the best interest of the children that this not be dragged out through the courts any further,″ said Simpson attorney Bernard Leckie.

The Browns have long fought Simpson over custody of the children, but Leckie said Simpson is now on good terms with his children’s grandparents and they’re closely involved in their upbringing.

``The Browns and Simpson are getting along better now,″ Leckie said. ``They sit together at the children’s athletic events.″

Calls to the Browns’ attorney were not immediately returned.

The California Supreme Court ruled in February that the custody case could go back to court for a second trial because a judge had failed to hear evidence about the slayings of Simpson’s former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Simpson was acquitted in criminal court but held liable for the deaths in a civil trial and ordered to pay the Browns and Goldman’s family $33.5 million.

The custody agreement comes nearly five years after Ms. Simpson and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her Brentwood home.

Simpson spent a year in jail before he was acquitted. During that year, the Browns had custody of the two children. When Simpson was freed the children moved in with him but the Browns decided to sue for permanent custody.

A judge awarded custody to Simpson in 1996, but the Browns appealed the decision.

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