Sept. 20, 2007 — -- As O.J. Simpson dealt with the fallout from his arrest on multiple charges as he traveled back to his Miami home Wednesday, his longtime girlfriend remained committed to him and by his side.
An ABC producer on the flight with Simpson says girlfriend Christie Prody sat alongside him as he flew back to Florida, reading the book "You've Been Warned," a murder mystery by James Patterson and Howard Roughan. Simpson smiled as passengers took pictures; he slept during most of the flight.
Prody's profile has risen in light of Simpson's arrest. She was an emotional presence in the Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday, where Simpson was arraigned, alternately smiling and appearing to fight back tears.
Prody is an integral part of Simpson's inner circle.
"Christie is an extremely important part of O.J.'s life," said Simpson's defense attorney Yale Galanter.
The two met in 1995, after his acquittal on murder charges. At the time Prody was a 19-year-old cocktail waitress; the former beautician is said by many to bear a striking resemblance to Simpson's slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.
In the past, Prody often has defended Simpson's reputation.
"Marcia Clark is completely wrong about her two sides of this man because there [are] no two O.J. Simpsons," Prody said during an "Inside Edition" interview in 2000. "The people that know him, know that there is one guy, one good guy."
Despite Prody's support of Simpson, their relationship has not always been smooth during their more than decade-long relationship.
In October 1999, a 911 phone call documented one of their well-publicized blows, when Simpson called from Prody's Miami apartment saying a girl needed help.
"We have a problem here. I'm trying to get a girl to go to rehab," Simpson told a 911 operator. "She's been doing drugs for two days … "
Though Simpson later denied the girl he was talking about was his girlfriend, many suspected differently.
Another rift reportedly emerged when Prody sold an interview to the National Enquirer purportedly for $50,000. In the interview, she said that Simpson had confessed to the murders of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.
Despite the fact that they never lived together, the couple have had several domestic disturbances.
One incident included a violent argument at a Miami hotel. Police reports said Prody allegedly slapped and kicked Simpson.
"The security person came with police," Simpson said during a TV interview. "They asked me, 'Mr. Simpson were you attacked or something?' [I said,] 'No, the girl was frustrated, but look I'm not making any report. I'm not making any complaint.'"
In another incident, Prody accused Simpson of breaking into her home and erasing a message on her answering machine. In total, police were called four times, but no charges were filed.
Despite the couple's well-documented ups and downs, Prody's uncle said the two are a good couple.
"[They are] just like any other couple, except for the fame that he draws to the situation," said Steve Bellmore.