A “bizarre” and “uncomfortable” 2006 interview in which former American football star OJ Simpson detailed how he would have murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown has aired in the United States 12 years after being controversially pulled from TV screens.
The so-called ‘lost footage’ finally went to air in a two-hour special on the Fox network on Monday (Australian time), sparking a social media frenzy.
Filmed 11 years after he was found not guilty of murdering Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, the interview saw Simpson give publisher Judith Regan a hypothetical description of how he would have killed them.
“This is very difficult for me to do because it’s hypothetical,” he began, before describing an encounter with a friend he called ‘Charlie’, who he claimed told him to go to his ex-wife’s home on the night of her murder.
“Charlie came by and mentioned something about what was going on at her house. He told me, ‘You wouldn’t believe what’s going on over there’.
“I remember thinking that whatever is going on over there has got to stop.”
Simpson dipped in and out of first person as he recounted the events of June 12, 1994, the night Brown and Goldman were found stabbed to death in Brown’s home in Los Angeles.
“We go over, we get in the Bronco and go over … in the hypothetical I put on a cap and gloves. I always kept a knife in the car for the crazies. I believe [Charlie] took it.
“I go to the front and I’m looking to see what’s going on … while I was there, a guy shows up. A guy I really didn’t recognise. In the mood I was in, I started having words with him.
“I was concerned with everything going on, I was fed up with it. [We got into a] verbal fight – ‘who is this guy, why is he here, what’s going on?’.
“As things got heated I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself and this guy got into a karate thing … I remember I grabbed the knife – I do remember that portion, taking the knife from Charlie – and to be honest after that I don’t remember except I’m standing there and there’s all kind of stuff around … blood and stuff,” he recalled, before breaking into laughter.
“I hate to say this. I know we gotta back off again. This is hard. It’s hard to try to make people think that I’m …” he added, trailing off and laughing again.
Simpson was arrested and prosecuted for the murders, but was acquitted in the highly-publicised 1995 ‘Trial of the Century’.
He was later found liable for their deaths in lawsuits filed by their families and ended up in prison regardless, serving nine years for an unrelated armed robbery. He was granted parole last year.
Regan was due to publish Simpson’s book If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer in 2007 but it was dropped along with the TV interview after outrage from the victim’s families and Regan was fired.
In the Fox special, Regan said she received a call from Simpson’s attorney in 2006 saying the ex-footballer was “ready to confess”.
“[T]he only condition that he had was that he didn’t want to call the book I Did It,” she said.
“He wanted to put an ‘If’ in front of it so that he would have deniability with his children.”
Simpson’s children with Brown – son Justin, 29, and daughter Sydney, 32 – were five and eight years old when their mother was murdered. They have managed to lead normal lives – both work in real estate and remain in contact with their father.
Journalist Soledad O’Brien, who hosted the interview special, described Simpson’s behaviour as “bizarre”.
“After I screened it, I knew this would be something everyone would want to see,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s the most bizarre interview I’ve ever been part of.”
Viewers were outraged by Simpson’s lack of remorse as he recounted incidents of domestic violence and stalking involving himself and Brown and his bafflingly detailed faux account of her murder, sharing their thoughts on social media with the hashtag #DidOJConfess.
— Josh Gauntt (@joshg_TV) March 12, 2018
Watching the 2006 OJ Simpson interview tonight on Fox, The Lost Confession? My mouth is on the floor. Truly can’t believe he comes right out and explains the entire murder…then starts to laugh and says “ but that is purely hypothetical!” #DidOJConfess
— Lacie Lowry (@LacieLowry) March 12, 2018
The amount of laughter coming from OJ Simpson during this interview is uncomfortable and unnerving. #DidOJConfess
— Wendy Adams (@wendyradio) March 12, 2018
This OJ Simpson interview is so bizarre I don’t know what to make of it. Do u think he did it? 🧐 #DidOJConfess
— Anahita Sedaghatfar (@AnahitaSeda) March 12, 2018