Marcia Clark, the high-profile head prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, was probably not anticipating an excruciatingly detailed retelling of the events of the case that severely impacted her life nearly 20 years after the fact. And while the case has been dissected time and time again throughout popular culture, it seems that perhaps no other format has gotten so close to the real thing as the new FX television show The People v. O.J. Simpson. The series has been so true to the details, in fact, that Clark once hoped that The People v. O.J. Simpson would not air at all, believing that its retelling would bring up personal and professional trauma caused by the case, she tells Larry King during an appearance on his show this week.
The trial itself thrust Clark into a media circus, one at which time was largely unrivaled in its discussion of racial, social, and legal implications for the American justice system. Simpson's celebrity status as an actor and former National Football League star helped play into the initial interest of the case, and the frenzy around the trial only grew from there. The question the trial presented regarding whether or not Simpson had murdered two people became increasingly about the treatment of race in the criminal justice system.
Clark discusses this and more details surrounding the series in her upcoming interview with Larry King on Larry King Now, set to premiere on March 25. She tells King that when the show was originally announced, she feared "reliving the nightmare" and called the trial an "unending experience of torture." The highly publicized eight-month trial left the prosecutor feeling that there had been an overthrow of justice, and she worried that the show would only bring up all of those feelings anew.
The former prosecutor was often held responsible in the public eye for the eventual verdict — Simpson was ultimately found not guilty for both murders in the public trial. Following the trial, Clark went on leave, and eventually resigned from her position as a prosecutor in 1997, two years after Simpson walked free.
Yet unfortunately for Clark and those looking to put the long-ago trial behind them, The People v. O.J. Simpson, according to the prosecutor herself, is glaringly accurate. This will, at the very least, continue to make for interesting true crime television about a case America seems unwilling to put to rest.