Where are they now? Case brought fame for many characters in OJ Simpson drama

The June 12 1994 killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman brought the Trial Of The Century that saw OJ Simpson acquitted of the murders.

The trial brought together a fascinating cast of characters and the drama also provided the first taste of fame for the Kardashian clan.

Here is a look at where they are now.

The defendant

OJ Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole in an unrelated case in Nevada (Jason Bean/AP)
OJ Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole in an unrelated case in Nevada (Jason Bean/AP)

Two years after Simpson’s 1995 acquittal, a civil court jury found him liable for the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman, and ordered he pay their survivors 33.5 million US dollars.

He got into a series of minor legal scrapes ranging from a 2001 Florida road-rage incident (he was acquitted) to racing his boat through a protected Florida manatee zone in 2002 (he was fined).

His most serious transgression came in 2007, however, when he and five others barged into a Las Vegas hotel room with guns and robbed memorabilia dealers of property that Simpson said was his.

OJ Simpson in a car after being questioned by Los Angeles police into the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman (Nick Ut/AP)
OJ Simpson in a car after being questioned by Los Angeles police into the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman (Nick Ut/AP)

He served nine years in a Nevada prison and was paroled in 2017. Now 71, Simpson lives quietly in Las Vegas where he says he plays golf nearly every day with a group of “retired guys”.

He also poses for selfies with the many people still enamoured with his celebrity.

Simpson said in a recent interview that he will never discuss the murders again.

The victims’ survivors

Ron Goldman’s sister Kim buries her face in her hands and weeps as her father Fred, centre, holds her in disbelief as the jury returns the not-guilty verdict (AP)
Ron Goldman’s sister Kim buries her face in her hands and weeps as her father Fred, centre, holds her in disbelief as the jury returns the not-guilty verdict (AP)

Ron Goldman’s sister, Kim, was 22 and broke into hysterical sobs when the not guilty verdict was read.

These days she counsels troubled teens as executive director of a Southern California-based non-profit organisation, The Youth Project, and is a speaker to victims’ rights group.

She has authored several books and on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of her sister’s death, begins a 10-episode podcast titled Confronting: OJ Simpson, in which she says she will discuss all aspects of the trial.

Ms Goldman, now 47, lives in a Southern California suburb with her 15-year-old son.

Kim Goldman (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Kim Goldman (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Fred Goldman, Ron’s father, has relentlessly pursued Simpson through civil courts, maintaining it is the only way to achieve justice for his son.

Mr Goldman’s family has seized some of Simpson’s memorabilia, including his 1968 Heisman Trophy as college American football’s best player that year.

The family has also taken the rights to Simpson’s movies, a book he wrote about the killings and other items to satisfy part of the 33.5 million dollar judgment that Simpson refuses to pay.

Mr Goldman, 78, lives with his wife, Patti, in Arizona, where both are property developers.

Fred Goldman in 2014 (Matt York/AP)
Fred Goldman in 2014 (Matt York/AP)

Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister, has remained the family’s most outspoken critic of Simpson, although like the Goldman family she refuses to speak his name.

The former model has become a victims’ rights advocate and a speaker, urging both women and men to leave abusive relationships.

She said she has got over her anger with God for the killings but has never forgiven Simpson and will not watch any films or documentaries about the killings.

Denise Brown (Richard Drew/AP)
Denise Brown (Richard Drew/AP)

The legal dream team

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Simpson’s flamboyant lead lawyer, died of brain cancer in 2005 at 68. His refrain to jurors that “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” sought to underscore that the bloody gloves found at Simpson’s home and the crime scene were too small for the football legend when he tried them on in court.

OJ Simpson flanked by lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie L. Cochran (blue tie) (Myung J. Chun/AP)
OJ Simpson flanked by lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie L. Cochran (blue tie) (Myung J. Chun/AP)

After the trial, that line became a national catchphrase. Following the trial Mr Cochran expanded his law firm to 15 states and frequently appeared on television. He also became the inspiration for bombastic lawyer Jackie Chiles on the TV sitcom Seinfeld.

Robert Kardashian (Nick Ut/AP)
Robert Kardashian (Nick Ut/AP)

Robert Kardashian died of oesophageal cancer in 2003 aged 59. He had renewed his law licence specifically to defend Simpson, and his long-time friend stayed in Mr Kardashian’s home between the time of the murders and his arrest.

When Simpson fled authorities in a white Ford Bronco on June 17 1994, Mr Kardashian read to reporters a rambling message Simpson had left behind as a bizarre, nationally televised, slow-speed motorway chase unfolded.

Since his death, Mr Kardashian’s fame has been eclipsed by that of ex-wife, Kris, and children, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob, thanks to their reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

OJ Simpson, right, and defence lawyer Robert Shapiro (Nick Ut/AP)
OJ Simpson, right, and defence lawyer Robert Shapiro (Nick Ut/AP)

Robert Shapiro, the first member of Simpson’s defence team, continues to practice law.

In 2005 he founded the Brent Shapiro Foundation to help steer young people from drug and alcohol addiction after his 24-year-old son died of an overdose.

He also co-founded LegalZoom.com, a do-it-yourself service for people seeking to file legal documents without the help of lawyers, and RightCounsel.com for people searching for a lawyer.

Robert Shapiro pictured in 2017 (Willy Sanjuan/AP)
Robert Shapiro pictured in 2017 (Willy Sanjuan/AP)

Barry Scheck was the lawyer who introduced DNA science to jurors as he attacked police methods of evidence collection to undermine the prosecution’s forensic evidence case.

He and fellow Simpson lawyer Peter Neufeld co-founded The Innocence Project that uses DNA evidence to exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners.

The project has helped overturn hundreds of convictions.

Defence lawyer Barry Scheck reviews trial transcripts as prosecutor Marcia Clark looks on (Reed Saxon/PA)
Defence lawyer Barry Scheck reviews trial transcripts as prosecutor Marcia Clark looks on (Reed Saxon/PA)

F. Lee Bailey was the lawyer who played a key role in exposing racist statements made by one of the prosecution’s key witnesses, police Detective Mark Fuhrman, undermining Fuhrman’s credibility.

When he joined the defence team, Mr Bailey already was famous for his role in some of the most high-profile cases of the 20th century, including that of heiress-turned-bank-robber Patricia Hearst.

F. Lee Bailey pictured in 2014 (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
F. Lee Bailey pictured in 2014 (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Mr Bailey, now 86, was disbarred in Massachusetts and Florida in the early 2000s for misconduct in handling a client’s case.

His efforts to be reinstated have been unsuccessful.

The prosecutors

Marcia Clark, the trial’s lead prosecutor, gave up law after the case, although she has appeared frequently as a TV commentator on high-profile trials over the years and on numerous TV news shows.

Former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark (Willy Sanjuan.AP)
Former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark (Willy Sanjuan.AP)

She was paid four million US dollars for her Simpson trial memoir, Without A Doubt, and has gone on to write a series of crime novels.

Chris Darden, the co-prosecutor, was criticised for having Simpson try on the bloody gloves without first ensuring they would fit.

He is now a defence lawyer himself.

Chris Darden reacts during court proceedings in Los Angeles during the OJ Simpson double murder trial (Kevork Djansezian/AP)
Chris Darden reacts during court proceedings in Los Angeles during the OJ Simpson double murder trial (Kevork Djansezian/AP)

He recently represented the man charged with killing hip-hop mogul Nipsey Hussle before withdrawing from the case, saying his family had received death threats.

Mr Darden has also taught law, appeared on television as a legal commentator and wrote of his Simpson trial experiences in the book, In Contempt.

The judge

Lance Ito, who retired in 2015, presided over approximately 500 trials after the one that made him such a household name that The Tonight Show briefly featured a comedy segment called The Dancing Itos, in which Ito lookalikes in judicial robes performed.

Judge Lance Ito (Reed Saxon/AP)
Judge Lance Ito (Reed Saxon/AP)

After the Simpson trial he had to remove his name plate from his courtroom door because people kept stealing it.

Mr Ito has never discussed the trial, citing judicial ethics.

The houseguest

Brian “Kato” Kaelin, a struggling actor living in a guest house on Simpson’s property, gave evidence that he heard a bump during the night of the murders and went outside to find Simpson in the yard, something prosecutors say showed Simpson was sneaking back home after the killings.

Brian “Kato” Kaelin gives evidence (John McCoy/AP)
Brian “Kato” Kaelin gives evidence (John McCoy/AP)

Mocked on talk shows as America’s most famous houseguest, Mr Kaelin has gone on to appear in reality shows, in small parts in TV sitcoms and films, and to launch a clothing line for slackers. In recent years he has been a regular at Wizard World Comic Con in St Louis.

- Press Association

More on this topic

OJ Simpson says his life is ‘fine’ 25 years after murders

OJ Simpson to enjoy 'simple pleasures' when he is released from prison

OJ Simpson begins court appeal

More in this Section

Tory contenders won’t stand aside for Boris Johnson

Hong Kong set for street march as protester death mourned

Oil tanker’s crew land in Dubai after Gulf of Oman attack

Jeremy Corbyn accused of ‘virulent anti-Americanism’ over Iran threat


Lifestyle

Want to make the most of an urban garden space? Here are seven ideas

More From The Irish Examiner