By Stephanie Nolasco
Published July 26, 2019
Twenty-five years after the brutal murders that ignited the “Trial of the Century,” the 47-year-old is investigating the shocking case that forever changed her life in a new Wondery podcast titled “Confronting O.J. Simpson.” The 10-part series features interviews with prosecutors, investigators, witnesses who never got to speak, as well as jurors who voted not guilty.
On the night of June 12, 1994, Goldman, 25, and his friend, Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, were stabbed to death in one of Los Angeles’ most exclusive neighborhoods.
Simpson, a Hall of Fame football hero once nicknamed “The Juice,” was acquitted for the murders. As the verdict was read following one of the most divisive criminal cases in U.S. history, cameras in the courtroom caught a devastated Kim sobbing uncontrollably. The murder case is officially listed as unsolved.
“I always wanted to make sure that my brother’s memory and who he was as a person, as a brother, as a family member, is the most important thing that we talk about when it comes to this trial,” Kim told Fox News about why she was compelled to revisit her painful past for the public. “Being able to share his story through my eyes, I think is really important, but also to be able to reclaim some control over a story that’s been so out of control is important to me.”
“It’s a fresh approach on a story that I think people think they know all the information about,” she continued. “Why not now? Any time like the present, I guess, to kind of work on getting your life back together.”
In 1997, after the victims’ families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson, a civil court awarded a $33.5 million restitution to both families. Simpson later served nine years in prison for robbery and kidnapping over an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. He was released on October 2017.
The now-72-year-old, who has always maintained his innocence, recently joined Twitter saying, “I’ve got a little gettin' even to do,” he wrote. The launch was on June 14 — a few days after the 25 anniversary of his ex-wife’s slaying.
“It’s very jarring,” Kim admitted. "I was at the movies with a girlfriend of mine and [the news] came out and it was all over my feed. I guess in some ways, I like to think it was in response to me putting my podcast out there and with his first tweet being he needed some getting even to do, I’ll take that as a badge of honor… But I think it was really in poor taste that he did that and that he was so brazen in his launch. So disrespectful. You’d think his comment would be something about Nicole, the mother of his children, or something a little warmer and kinder.”
But Kim has endured attacks and criticism by people who say she exploits her late brother's murder for personal gain.
In episode 6 of “Confronting O.J. Simpson,” listeners hear a recorded phone call between producer Nancy Glass and Simpson’s current attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, as she tries to get either Simpson or LaVergne to participate in the podcast. The attorney then starts saying that Kim’s podcast is an effort for her to garner fame. LaVergne has also taken to Twitter to sound off on Kim’s intention with the podcast, claiming she “primarily makes her living off Mr. Simpson’s name.”
“I listened to the conversation between [Simpson’s] attorney and my producer Nancy Glass and I honestly was laughing at how bizarre it was,” said Kim. “But it’s very typical of how he’s treated me for the last couple of years. I don’t know where his anger, his targeted anger, comes from as it relates to me, but it’s very much keeping in line with who he’s been and his targeted assault on me on Twitter. It’s pretty despicable, but I was glad that people were able to see what we’re up against.”
Kim stressed one of her intentions with “Confronting O.J. Simpson” was to share who her brother really was before his death. He was the big brother who pulled a terrified teen from a car wreck and rode to the hospital in the ambulance with her. Goldman was also the one who proudly protected his sister — every guy had to go through him if they wanted to ask Kim on a date.
“My brother could light up a room with his smile,” said Kim. “Really creative, very charismatic, very loyal to his core, very protective of me, of his friends. My brother was my best friend, someone who I confided all of my thoughts and fears and secrets in… He was someone [who] ran into trouble and tried to help someone. I think that’s pretty heroic.”
Goldman was returning a pair of sunglasses that Nicole’s mother had left at a restaurant where he worked when he and the 35-year-old were killed. Ron’s body had numerous defensive wounds, indicating he tried to stop the attack.
“I want my brother to be remembered for the last act of his life, which was running into chaos, running to help a friend,” said Kim. “He showed courage and bravery and true loyalty in those moments when he saw someone he knew being attacked, that he stayed to fight and he tried to save her life. Put up a valiant effort to save his own. As much as it pains me that my brother wasn’t more selfish that night, it wouldn’t have been who he was. I’m proud of him, but it’s super hard.”
Since the trial, Kim and her father Fred Goldman have relentlessly pursued Simpson’s assets, seizing some of his memorabilia, his rights to movies he appeared in and a book he wrote about the killings called “If I Did It.” After acquiring the book rights, Kim added to it, changed its title to include the words, “Confessions of the Killer” and published it.
Today, Kim is an executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, a nonprofit organization that provides free crisis intervention, support groups, education and outreach to teens in the Santa Clarita Valley dealing with depression, suicide, domestic violence and substance abuse, among others. She is also a victims’ advocate speaking to others who’ve also lost loved ones to crime, as well as survivors.
“I live every day with a purpose, which is my kid, with being of service to others,” said Kim. “I take it one day at a time. Not every day is easy, but I have a strong support system that I’m always counting on to help me.”
As for justice, Kim said it will never be served.
“[Simpson] can never be tried again, the double jeopardy applies,” she said. “If he confesses, I think they’ll be some sort of satisfaction that we get. But justice will never be served because he’s a free man.”
"Confronting O.J. Simpson with Kim Goldman" is available for streaming on Wondery.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.