What O.J. 'confessed'

Simpson and Regan

The New York Times received a partial transcript of O.J. Simpson's never-televised Fox interview with Judith Regan describing how the 1994 murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman might have gone down, if he had done the crimes. From this weekend's NYT story:

Mr. Simpson says: “As things got heated, I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself. And this guy kind of got into a karate thing.” It was then, he says, that “I remember I grabbed the knife.” Later, asked about whether he had taken off a glove before handling the knife, Mr. Simpson says, “You know, I had no conscious memory of doing that, but obviously I must have because they found a glove there.”

According to the transcript, that moment is one of several during the interview in which Mr. Simpson, while maintaining that he is merely recounting a hypothetical narrative, says rather oddly that he cannot remember certain details....

Mr. Simpson introduces a new character to the well-known cast: a man identified only as Charlie, someone he had recently met and befriended, and who, in the hypothetical accounts, served as an unwilling accomplice to the murders.

Mr. Simpson says in the interview that Charlie came to his house that night and told him of troubling aspects of Ms. Simpson’s personal life, things Mr. Simpson said “had to stop.” The two drove to Ms. Simpson’s nearby home. He says that he always kept a ski hat in his car for chilly mornings on the golf course, along with a knife to deal with “crazies.” Mr. Simpson says he left the knife in the car, with Charlie.

As Mr. Simpson approached his ex-wife’s door, Mr. Goldman arrived, the two began exchanging angry words, and Ms. Simpson came out and joined the argument, Mr. Simpson says. After she “fell,” Mr. Goldman squared off against Mr. Simpson in a karate stance. Then Charlie showed up with the knife.

Mr. Simpson says he remembered grabbing the knife from Charlie. He says he then blacked out. His next memory is being covered in “blood and stuff.”

Asked by Ms. Regan to describe the bloody scene in greater detail, he at one point suggests that viewers read the book because he found it too difficult to discuss. Moments later, he speaks about it in a way that suggests he holds no more knowledge of the crime scene than anyone else who had watched the televised trials.

Mr. Simpson then talks about bloody clothing and the knife. Ms. Regan asks if he retrieved the bloody bundle from Charlie because he had left his wallet and keys in his pants pocket. Mr. Simpson says he knew that to be “true.”

n the transcript Ms. Regan also asks Mr. Simpson about the infamous glove, the one he struggled to shove onto his hand during his 1995 trial, leading his lawyer, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., to tell jurors, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Ms. Regan frames the question by reminding Mr. Simpson that he has written in the book that he removed the glove before grabbing the knife from Charlie. Mr. Simpson answers that he did not recall doing that but concedes that he “must have” because the glove was later found at the murder scene.

The transcript does not contain any remarks by Mr. Simpson about what happened to the bloody clothes or the knife he described in the interview. But in the manuscript Mr. Simpson wrote that he gave a bundle to Charlie with explicit instructions to “make sure it disappears ... forever.”

Yale L. Galanter, Simpson’s lawyer, said that O.J. was simply following a script as required by his contract and that the interview was intended to be entertainment. "It was even more than entertainment," Galanter told the NYT. "It was entertainment with a purpose, and the purpose was to sell the book."

Photo: Michael Yarish/Fox via NYT


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