On Wednesday, Fox released two preview clips from OJ Simpson: The Lost Confession, an interview with the that was recorded in 2006 but never aired. Simpson was charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. He pled not guilty, and after a lengthy criminal trial, the jury acquitted him. But in the interview, Simpson talks — in hypothetical terms — about what it might have been like to be at Brown's house the night she was killed, and why he theoretically might have been there.
"I remember I grabbed the knife, I do remember that portion," Simpson says in one of the clips. "Somebody had to get rid of the bloody clothes."
Despite his not guilty plea, Simpson planned to release a book in 2006 about how, in a purely hypothetical scenario, he would have gone about murdering Nicole Brown, if he had in fact murdered her, which he maintains that he didn't. The book was to be called If I Did It.
The Fox interview was filmed as a promotion for the book. Both the interview and book were quickly cancelled, however, due to widespread public outrage, in part over the fact that Simpson was reportedly going to be paid $3.5 million for the book. Goldman's family won the rights to Simpson's manuscript in 2007, and the book was ultimately published the next year under the title If I Did It: Confessions of The Killer.
"This is very difficult for me to do this," Simpson says in the other preview clip. "It's very difficult for me, because it's hypothetical. I know and I accept the fact that people are gonna feel however they're gonna feel."
The premise of the interview is extraordinarily puzzling. If Simpson is speaking about a strictly hypothetical scenario that didn't actually occur, which is what he claims, what does he mean when he says, "I remember I grabbed the knife?" People cannot "remember" events that never happened. Likewise, why would it be "very difficult" for him to give an interview in which he describes purely fictional events? All of this is unclear, although perhaps the full interview will yield some answers.
"It was horrible," Simpson says in one of the clips. "It was absolutely horrible."
Although Simpson was acquitted of murder in the criminal trial, the families of the victims later filed wrongful death lawsuits against him in civil court, and prevailed. A judge ordered Simpson to pay $33.5 million to Brown and Goldman's families; in 2017, the attorney tasked with collecting that payment said that with interest, Simpson now owes the families "a touch under $70 million."
In a case unrelated to the murders of Brown and Goldman, Simpson was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in 2008 after a bizarre incident at a Las Vegas hotel. Simpson said that he and his associates were simply attempting to retrieve sports memorabilia that Simpson claims was stolen from him. He served nine years in prison before being granted parole in July 2017, and was released the following October.
In the preview clips from the Fox interview, Simpson spoke about a person named "Charlie," and said that hypothetically, Charlie would have been the one to lead Simpson to Brown's house on the night of the murders.
"Charlie came by and mentioned something about what was going on at her house," Simpson says. "This guy Charlie shows up — guy who I had recently become friends with — and I don't know why he had been by Nicole's house, but he told me, 'you wouldn't believe what's going on over there.' And I remember thinking, 'well whatever's going on over there's gotta stop.'"
The clip segment leaves unclear what was hypothetically going on at Brown's house, or why Simpson hypothetically would have believed that it had to stop. The full interview airs Sunday night.