Nicole Brown Simpson’s Happy Life: Meet the Fun-Loving Mom Who Adored Dancing, Horses and Made Holidays Special (Exclusive)

Nicole Brown Simpson's sisters open up about her in the upcoming Lifetime documentary series, The Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, airing June 1 and 2

Family photo Nicole Brown Simpson
Family photo Nicole Brown Simpson

Dominique Brown thinks of her late sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, the most around the holidays, she says.

“Nic and I were both the middle kids and we both had this thing about doing everything to the fullest,” Dominique tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

“Nicole would be on the roof, eight months pregnant, putting up for Christmas lights,” she says. “She would decorate the house and we'd cook and we'd get all the good plates out. She made the holidays an event.”

To mark the 30th anniversary of Nicole’s murder on June 12, 1994, Dominique, 59, and sisters Denise Brown, 66 and Tanya Brown, 54, open up about her life in the upcoming Lifetime documentary series titled The Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.

Airing over two nights on June 1 and June 2, the documentary series features new details about Nicole’s life and death as well as never-before-seen footage.

For more on the life of Nicole Brown Simpson, as shared by her three sisters, subscribe now to PEOPLE, or pick up this week's issue, on newsstands Friday.

On the night of June 12, 1994, Nicole, 35, was viciously stabbed to death along with her friend Ron Goldman, 25, in the courtyard of her Brentwood, Los Angeles, townhouse, while her two children Sydney, then 8, and Justin, then 5, slept inside the home.

<p>Ron Davis/Getty</p> O.J. Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson, and their children, Sydney and Justin, three months before her death on June 12, 1994

Ron Davis/Getty

O.J. Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson, and their children, Sydney and Justin, three months before her death on June 12, 1994

Simpson was famously accused of killing them before he was acquitted in 1995 in what was called the "The Trial of the Century.

In 1997, he was found liable for Nicole and Ron’s deaths at a civil trial, where he was ordered to pay a $33 million settlement to their families.

Maintaining his innocence, he paid very little over the years. When he died from cancer on April 10 at the age of 76, the amount he owed Goldman’s family totaled more than $114 million.

After Nicole’s brutal murder, the truth about her turbulent seven-year marriage, which was rife with verbal and physical abuse, emerged.

In 1992, Nicole filed for divorce, hoping to get away from the abuse, but it only continued until her murder.

Nicole’s sisters have waited until now to fully share her story.

“Other anniversaries just didn’t feel right,” Denise tells PEOPLE. “But we decided 30 years was probably the best and the last time to hear her voice and tell her story.”

Adds Tanya: “She’s not a dead body covered with a white sheet at the bottom of the stairs. That’s not Nicole. We want people to see this beautiful human being.” 

Dominique says she has had many dreams about Nicole since she died. “She’s always in her jeans and a leather jacket, always happy, dancing, social. And she’s always still alive.”

In the documentary series, her sisters recount the emotional and physical pain their sister endured at Simpson’s hands, but also how joyful and fun she was throughout her life.

Nicole grew up on the beach, where she loved to spend time as an adult. She also loved horses. Growing up in California, says Denise, “We had horses, and loved horseback riding, riding horses, and that. We always had a great time."

Related: Nicole Brown Simpson’s Final Years Revealed: Found ‘Freedom,’ Joy, Dated and Embraced Life After O.J. Divorce (Exclusive)

Nicole was always up for an adventure, she says. “I think having kids together, going on vacations together, just everything was always fun with Nicole," says Denise.

Nicole could always be found laughing about something — and dancing as much as she could, Tanya says. In fact, she adds, her sister is “dancing in heaven. That’s what she’s doing.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

The Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson airs over two nights on June 1 and June 2 on Lifetime.

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