On Monday morning, O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden appeared on the Today show. Darden talked with Savannah Guthrie about American Crime Story , the racial narrative of the defense, and Darden's possible romance with co-prosecutor Marcia Clark. The first season of FX's true crime series focused on the case of O.J. Simpson's 1995 trial for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The series focused on the racial tensions of the time, opening with video of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police officers. But one thing the drama also touched on — which the real-life figures have neither confirmed nor denied — is the rumored romance between Chris Darden and Marcia Clark.
Guthrie started their conversation by asking if Darden was even tempted to watch the FX series, to which he responded no. "I lived through it. I knew the series would not be accurate, and I couldn't see any reason I should watch it." Darden noted that the healthiest thing for him to do was to ignore the series — and its social media presence — altogether. They spoke about the case itself, the jury, and the tension between Darden and defense attorney Johnny Cochran. On the question of race, Darden remembered how offended he was when Cochran called him an "apologist for a racist," noting, "I was offended then, I'm still offended now. I thought it was an outrageous thing for one lawyer to say about another lawyer in a public courtroom." The two were able to mend their relationship, nonetheless.
But the one thing Guthrie — and the rest of the country — really wanted to know was about the rumored romance between Darden and Clark. But Darden made things clear: "If I were to say I had a relationship with Marcia Clark, people would say we lost the case because we were more interested in intimacy than the law and the facts, and that would be an even worse position to be in." Probably true, and Clark didn't need any more sexist or misogynistic commentary than she already received throughout the trial, even without confirmation of a romantic relationship between the two.
The Today show also asked Clark about the alleged romance. She wrote in her memoir, Without a Doubt, "Fact of the matter is, Chris Darden and I were closer than lovers. And unless you’ve been through what we went through, you can’t possibly know what that means." When prompted by Today about romance speculation, Clark said, "We were the best of friends. We were trench mates. It was like living in a bubble. No one else could understand what it was like to live through that, but he could. We were certainly very close, but no, we were partners."
Darden told Guthrie, "I'll wait until Marcia is sitting next to me to talk about it in greater detail ... People want a happy ending to what was otherwise a terrible ending, a terrible story." I guess we'll never know more than what we do already. Check out the full video below.
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