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Fargo-Moorhead is abuzz after O.J. visits JT Cigarro bar

FARGO -- Christine Prody is not just O.J. Simpson's girlfriend.

She's also a Minnesota native and believed to be the reason the former NFL football great and acquitted murder suspect was visiting the Fargo-Moorhead area this week.

The metro area was abuzz Wednesday after Simpson visited Fargo's JT Cigarro bar on Tuesday. Simpson headed into Prody's home state on Wednesday, teeing off just after 1 p.m. at Thumper Pond golf course in Ottertail, Minn., according to an employee in the course's pro shop.

Reports on how the couple met vary, but Prody's mother, Cathy Bellmore, formerly of Edina, Minn., has said in the past that Prody wanted to meet Simpson. Bellmore has said Prody visited his home shortly after his 1995 acquittal of murder in the 1994 knife slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

At the time, Prody was a cocktail waitress who had just moved to California following a two-year stint at Athe University of Minnesota after graduating in 1993 from high school in St. Anthony Village, Minn.

Some have said that Prody, now 33, looks like Simpson's ex-wife, who he also met when she was a waitress, according to his book "If I Did It."

Simpson, now 60, describes meeting Nicole in his book and other circumstances about their rocky relationship, including how he would have killed his ex-wife. Simpson has called the chapter dealing with Nicole Brown Simpson's death a "fictional creation."

The Goldman family published the book in 2007 after a federal bankruptcy judge awarded them the book rights to satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against Simpson, which came after a 1997 civil jury held him liable for the deaths.

Prody, who lives in Miami with Simpson, has defended him in the past and, most recently, has attended Simpson's hearings in connection with charges he faces accusing him of orchestrating the armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room.

Simpson has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is set to face trial in September.

During a 2000 "Inside Edition" interview, Prody said Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark's depiction of Simpson as having two sides was "completely wrong," according to a Sept. 20, 2007, "Good Morning America" story.

"The people that know him know that there is one guy, one good guy," Prody said in the interview.

Simpson and Prody's relationship has been rocky at times, with Prody selling her story after a breakup. She told the National Enquirer that he had confessed to murdering his ex-wife and Goldman, according to the "Good Morning America" story.

The two got back together, but have had a string of public fights.

Simpson called 911 from Prody's Miami apartment in October 1999, saying a girl there needed help, according to the "Good Morning America" story.

"We have a problem here. I'm trying to get a girl to go to rehab," he told the 911 operator. "She's been doing drugs for two days."

Simpson told police she was on a cocaine binge, but has since denied that the call was related to Prody.

A year later, Simpson told Miami police that Prody kicked and slapped him at a hotel. He did not press charges in that case.

They brawled again in 2005, with police reports indicating she shoved him and slapped one of his friends, according to

Prody has also been in court herself. In 2002, she was fined for animal cruelty after a cat left at her apartment starved to death. She was also fined for using Simpson's disabled parking permit in 2000 at a Target store, according to

In 2006, Prody was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession and fined for the charge, according to Miami-Dade County court records.

Her family hasn't always been supportive of the relationship either.

In 1999, Bellmore went to the "Leeza" show and voiced her disapproval of the relationship, saying, "His actions don't show he loves her," according to a June 14, 1999, column in the Star Tribune quoting from the show.

A Moorhead listing can be found for a Monte and Susan Prody. When reached at home Wednesday morning and asked whether the two were related to Christine Prody, Susan Prody said, "No comment, thank you."

A message left for Prody's father, Clair, was not returned Wednesday. Clair Prody is the executive director of Lakeland Mental Health in Fergus Falls, Minn.

Attempts to contact Bellmore and other relatives were unsuccessful.

The Forum and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.