What happened on the night of June 12, 1994 when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered? Disgraced football player O.J. Simpson may have some insight.
On Sunday night, Fox will air a two-hour special titled “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession,” a never seen 2006 interview with book publisher Judith Regan in which he detailed a “hypothetical” account about the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.
The special, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, will also feature a panel of analysts, including Christopher Darden, one of Simpson’s prosecutors from his criminal trial, as well as Eve Shakti Chen, a representative for Nicole’s family.
Simpson, 70, was famously found not guilty in 1995 during the “trial of the century.”
In 2006, HarperCollins announced the publication of a book titled "If I Did It" in which Simpson would describe how the real murderer would have committed the brutal killings.
After public outrage, the publishing giant canceled the book. A Florida bankruptcy court awarded the book's rights to the Goldmans, and they published it in 2007.
Executive producer Terry Wrong revealed in a teleconference Thursday the families of the victims are aware the unseen footage will be televised and have given the broadcast their blessing.
“Their thinking is we know he’s free again, we know him and we’ll think he’ll hang himself in this interview by implicating himself, so let’s see it,” said Wrong. “Let everybody see it.”
Wrong revealed the tapes were originally shelved because the families were worried Simpson would profit from granting an interview.
“They feared O.J. would be paid,” said Wrong. “The decision was made not to do it… Eventually, it was brought up to Fox executives that these tapes existed still… I went and looked and sure enough, it was incredibly riveting.”
Wrong added someone from the production team had reached out to Simpson’s reps, but they never received any response.
During a screening for journalists held on Thursday, viewers witnessed how Simpson was asked to speculate “what might have happened” on the evening of the double homicide. He initially hesitated, claiming “it’s not easy to discuss.”
Still, Simpson opened up.
Hypothetically speaking, Simpson claimed that on the night of June 12, he was accompanied by a friend named Charlie to Nicole’s Brentwood home. He felt Nicole was spending time with a questionable crowd and was concerned for their two children.
In the teleconference, the executive producer said he believes Charlie to be an alter ego made up by Simpson.
“This guy Charlie shows up, a guy who I recently became friends with,” said Simpson. “And I don’t know why he went by Nicole’s house, but he told me, ‘You wouldn’t believe what’s going on over there.’ And I remember thinking whatever’s going on over there, it’s gotta stop.”
Simpson added that in his car he stashed a knife “for the crazies,” alleging the weapon was carried for protection and was easier to travel with than a gun.
Simpson then alleged that outside the home, he was confronted by Goldman and Nicole.
“As things got heated, Nicole fell and hurt herself,” he said.
He added Goldman “kind of got into a karate thing,” which prompted him to say, “Well, you think you can kick my ass?”
Simpson then claimed, “At that time, I think Charlie had followed this guy in, to make sure there was no problem, and he brought in the knife. I took the knife from Charlie, and to be honest, after that, I don’t remember, except I’m standing there and there’s all kinda stuff around. Blood and stuff.”
When pressed, Simpson said, “It’s hard for me to describe it. I didn’t think anybody could be murdered the way they were without everybody covered in blood. We’ve all seen the grisly pictures after. Everything was covered, would have been covered in blood… It was horrible. It was absolutely horrible.”
Wrong said Simpson’s so-called fictionalized account was “jaw-dropping.”
“I couldn’t turn away,” he said. “In a way, it’s a little bit car crash television. You know, why would you do it, if you were him? It’s riveting. It was a little eerie to be inside his head for so many hours, just listening to the stream of consciousness come out of his mouth.”
Wrong said he hopes the interview will give new insight into Simpson’s mind as we approach the 24th anniversary of the shocking massacre.
“I think it’s a fascinating contribution to a subject that people have shown an abiding interest in,” he explained. “We’re taking you inside the mind of O.J. Simpson where nobody has ever been.
"It kind of adds to that pantheon for those people who remain fascinated by this case… I think this case is part of the social history of the United States. For better or worse.”
And the special doesn’t just touch on that fateful night. On camera, Simpson described Nicole as an insecure woman who stressed about her weight, was confrontational, frequently went under the knife to boost her self-esteem and seemed more interested in dedicating her existence to their children rather than working on their marriage.
The special also highlighted several 911 calls made by a noticeably distressed Nicole, who pleaded with dispachers. Photos reveal how she was allegedly beaten by her famous husband before her death.
“The one thing that hurts me as much as anything in this – aside from being considered a murderer – is being a batterer,” claimed Simpson.
“You see a very dysfunctional relationship,” reflected Wrong. “A very tortured one in which he had the power. He had the wealth, he had the celebrity. And he had the physical power… There’s no debate that domestic violence was front and center in that relationship.”
Interest in Simpson has been renewed in recent years thanks to projects like the Oscar-winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the FX miniseries “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”
Simpson is currently a free man, having been released from prison in October 2017 after nine years over an armed robbery charge in Las Vegas.
While he was exonerated for the murders of Nicole and Goldman, a civil suit later found him liable for their deaths and forced him to pay $33.5 million in restitution to the victims’ families.
Wrong isn’t surprised Simpson continues to be such a popular subject.
“He sucks you in, O.J.,” said Wrong. “He’s charismatic, charming. At the same time, there’s something a little manic, a little disturbing.”
"O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?" airs Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on FOX.