THE O.J. SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL : Resnick Says Testifying 'Needs to Be Done' : Trial: Author of controversial memoir hopes to change jury's 'shallow view of Nicole.' But she fears that defense has called her to stand to discredit her.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It's a small town.

When O.J. Simpson's lawyers wanted to subpoena Faye Resnick, it was easy for them to find her. She was, as she is many Sundays, at a West Los Angeles park watching her 11-year-old daughter Francesca play softball with Francesca's close friend, Chloe Kardashian, the daughter of Simpson's old friend and attorney Robert Kardashian.

A process server handed Resnick the paper directing her to be in Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito's court July 3--her birthday--and another man videotaped the incident for proof of service and posterity.

Resnick, the author of a controversial memoir about her friendship with Nicole Brown Simpson that temporarily halted the trial in October, has been out of public view in recent months. Now, about to re-emerge as a subpoenaed defense witness, she said this week that she has mixed feelings about testifying.

"I feel that testifying on the stand for Nicole needs to be done," Resnick said. "If any of her friends don't do everything possible to make the truth known, none of us would be able to have a peaceful sleep. It's very difficult for a person like myself because Nicole has disappeared from the courtroom, and it's not about her or Ron [Goldman] anymore.

"I hope very much I can make a difference. A lot of friends of mine--Candace Garvey, CiCi Shahian--have gone up there who haven't been able to tell their story, only what the prosecution or defense wants out of them. So the jury gets a very shallow view of Nicole. I don't think the jury has been introduced to Nicole yet as far as I'm concerned."

Resnick said in her book, "Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted," that she believes that her friend was murdered by O.J. Simpson.

Simpson's lawyers have condemned the book and suggested that Colombian drug dealers murdered Nicole, having mistaken her for Resnick, who owed them money. Resnick, an admitted former cocaine user, was in a drug treatment facility the night of the murders. She reiterated this week that any contention that Nicole Simpson's death was related to her drug use is ludicrous.

Prosecutors have interviewed Resnick formally and informally; information she provided played a role in shaping the prosecution's presentation of domestic violence evidence. "The prosecution has a very good idea of what I can offer them as a witness," Resnick said, but thus far prosecutors have indicated that they do not intend to put Resnick on the stand because of her potential liabilities as a witness.

So, sensing opportunity, the defense lawyers have decided to call Resnick despite her antipathy toward their case. It is anticipated that the defense will question her for at least two purposes: to float the defense's drug murder theory while suggesting that Nicole Simpson's choice of friends, particularly Resnick, might have led to her death; and to inject Nicole's relationship with football star Marcus Allen, a longtime buddy of O.J. Simpson, into the case.

As a consequence, Resnick said she is experiencing considerable trepidation.

"I'm not an actress, I'm not a professional testifier," she said. "I'm going up against Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro and F. Lee Bailey. I realize they intend to ask me only what is detrimental to Nicole or myself and what is beneficial to their case. . . . Who knows what they are willing to do to try to discredit me. I know they're intending to expose everything I've ever done in my life, whether it's relevant or not, just to try and cloud the picture. I feel very vulnerable.

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"I would like very much to be able to make the jury understand what I saw through my eyes and what I know to be real. Then, I would look forward to this occasion no matter how much I was attacked. If I'm going to be attacked just for exploitation purposes, I'm not looking forward to that."

Resnick said she is troubled because her allies, the prosecutors, will be unable to "ask anything beyond the scope of the defense's questioning," thus limiting the range of her testimony.

In her book, Resnick wrote that Nicole Simpson had a steamy affair with Allen, who starred at USC a dozen years after Simpson and is now a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. Simpson's lawyers have subpoenaed Allen, contending that he could testify that their client did not become angry about the affair. That, they believe, would buttress their contention that Simpson was not capable of the jealous rage that prosecutors say motivated him to murder his former wife. Allen has denied the affair and is attempting to avoid testifying.

"I know where the defense is going with that," Resnick said. "They want to show that O.J. was benevolent and not jealous because he did not hurt Marcus after finding out about the relationship. I don't know what they want to get from me. If they asked me if O.J. didn't mind [the affair with Allen], I'd say O.J. hated that. It was demeaning to him, a younger man, his protege, had taken his place with Nicole. . . . They'll probably try to use me in that area, but I think that will backfire on them severely, like the Colombian drug theory."

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