As with almost every aspect of this tragic case, opinion was widely divided as to why family and friends failed to help Nicole Brown Simpson (PEOPLE, Feb. 20). Many felt Nicole was as much to blame for her situation as her family, who did not take O.J.'s abuse of Nicole seriously enough.

NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON
It is quite obvious why no one in the Brown family helped Nicole: They were living the good life because of O.J.'s generosity (no, not control), and they didn't want to lose that high life—money, jobs, trips, good times, etc. They are equally to blame for the battering Nicole received at the hands of O.J. But I keep asking myself, what blame does Nicole share?
ETHEL Y. SHEARER, New York City

There are few things in my life that I am sure about, but one of them is that I would do everything in my power to help my sister or friend end an abusive relationship. It is so difficult for me to comprehend why Nicole's family and friends allowed the abuse to continue. There just isn't enough money or Hertz franchises in this world that I would allow her to be beaten.
ELLEN HAYMAKER SNAPP, Santa Ana, Calif.

Why didn't anyone help Nicole? What about parents who not only allowed, but apparently never objected when their daughter, only three weeks out of high school, dated a 29-year-old married man? Sorry, but 1977 was when the intervention should have taken place.
HANNAH SULLIVAN, New London, Conn.

Your headline should have read, "Why didn't Nicole help herself?"
DAVID JOHNSON, Denver via CompuServe

If my sister had been beaten to a pulp by her husband, you can bet that I would do more than just take her picture for a safe-deposit box. Come on! It's a little too late for the would'ves, could'ves and should'ves.
L. FERNANDEZ, Valrico, Fla.

What did O.J.'s family and so-called friends do? Don't tell me they didn't know he had a problem.
J.C. BRANDT, Camp Hill, Pa.

Poor Nicole. I'm tired of hearing it. People should stop trying to take the blame for her death. Nicole remained a player in a high-stakes game and lost big time.
MARGARET ARMSTRONG, Tulsa

This tragedy could have been avoided if society focused less on celebrity worship and more on recognition of basic, decent qualities like honesty, integrity, responsibility, kindness and compassion. The dumbing of America continues.
LINDA W. PETRIE, New York City

BARBRA STREISAND AT HARVARD
It never ceases to amaze me that celebrities think the public cares what their political views are. As of late, Bar-bra Streisand has been pontificating on just about everything. For someone who professes to be a liberal, she seems incredibly intolerant of those who oppose her views. Ms. Streisand also seems to fare very well with capitalism for someone who sounds like a socialist.
BETH KRAFT, Wilmington, N.C. via CompuServe

While Ms. Streisand was indeed dressed exquisitely by Donna Karan, her speech at Harvard lacked the polish and tastefulness of the pinstripe-and-pearls ensemble. She blatantly refused to answer any direct questions, especially those referring to the subjects of her speech—although she frequently offered a clever quip in response to flattery about her work in the entertainment industry. Apart from her grace and refinement—and Barbra is truly elegant—her appearance was ultimately a disappointment.
ZACH BUCHWALD and RACHEL ALT, Cambridge via Internet

Kudos to Barbra Streisand. Not only has this enormously gifted woman challenged herself as a performer, she has also retained the courage to express her convictions as a private citizen. Who said Hollywood is filled with bubbleheads?
AL MENOTTI, Park Ridge, Ill.

Although subjected to the carpings of an ill-focused (and probably jealous), conservative press, Ms. Streisand (or anyone else for that matter) has the right to accept the invitation of a university or public forum to speak out about politics or contemporary issues. I'd rather hear her unpretentious passion and eloquence than the absurd remonstrations of a Newt Gingrich.
FRANK K. DARMSTADT, New York City