The (Real Life) People v O.J. Simpson

There was perhaps no other court case during the 20th century that was as polarizing and sensationalized as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Simpson was tried and later acquitted for the June 12, 1994 murders of  his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter Ronald Lyle Goldman. The trial spanned from the jury’s swearing-in on November 9, 1994 to the verdict which rocked the nation on October 3, 1995. Based on the book The Run of His Life, FX’s American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson takes a deep look at all of the key players surrounding the trail. 21 years later, the lives of everyone involved have been altered forever. Here are the real-life people who were involved in “the trial of the century.”

1
O. J. Simpson - Cuba Gooding Jr
Cuba Gooding Jr, The People v O J Simpson, FX, O J Simpson, Getty, 032816
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In American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson, Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr stars as the famed football player and actor who in 1994 was arrested and tried for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Goldman. During the trial questions of race, fame and money were brought to the forefront of the American justice system. Simpson was eventually acquitted of any wrongdoing. However, in 2007, Simpson was arrested once more. This time for breaking into a suite at the the Las Vegas Palace Station Hotel & Casino and stealing some sports memorabilia that he said belonged to him at gunpoint. Simpson was convicted on a number of charges, including criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and robbery. Simpson who is now 68-years-old, was sentenced to 33 years in prison at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. However, on July 31, 2013, the Nevada Parole Board granted Simpson parole on some charges from the armed robbery convictions, but he will continue to be held until at least 2017 on other charges.
2
Robert Shapiro - John Travolta
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Acting veteran John Travolta is in many ways channeling his Pulp Fiction character Vincent Vega with his portrayal of lawyer Robert Shapiro in The People v O.J. Simpson. Shapiro was one of several lawyers in Simpson's arsenal during his infamous murder trail. However, Simpson was not the last famous person that Sharpiro defended. He went on to lend his services to famous figures like Darryl Strawberry and Johnny Carson. Though he's 73-years-young, Shaprio is still working as a lawyer, though his focus has shifted from criminal defense to civil litigation. Obviously, he's not a bad guy to have on your side if you're in trouble with the law.
3
Johnnie Cochran - Courtney B. Vance
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Law & Order: Criminal Intent alum (and hubby to Angela Bassett) Courtney B. Vance, is portraying famed lawyer Johnnie Cohran whose famous line during the O.J. Simpson trial was, "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!" Cochran was accused by many, including his co-council Robert Shapiro, for bringing up the issue of race. He often told the mainly black Simpson jury that police officers were trying to frame O.J. Simpson because he was black. After winning Simpson his freedom, Cochran went on to defend Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Todd Bridges. Cochran's final case was in defense of hip-hop mogul Sean "P.Diddy" Combs who was indicted on stolen weapons charges as well as bribery. After winning Combs' acquittal, Cochran retired, declining to represent R&B singer R. Kelly and former NBA player Allen Iverson in their own criminal cases. Johnnie Cochran passed away March 29, 2005. His cause of death was a brain tumor.
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4
Marcia Clark - Sarah Paulson
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American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson is trying her hand at American Crime with her role as California state prosecutor Marcia Clark. Clark was relatively unknown before the media frenzy surrounding the O.J. Simpson trial thrusted her into the spotlight. After Simpson was acquitted of the crimes, Clark, who found the experience extremely draining resigned from the DA's department. She went on to write a book about the case called Without a Doubt. The now 62-yearold Clark told Entertainment Weekly that she is launching a new crime-fiction series, Blood Defense in May 2016.
5
Bill Hodgman - Christian Clemenson
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Boston Legal alum Christian Clemenson portrays persecutor Bill Hodgman who famously collapsed in the courtroom during the O.J. Simpson murder trail. At the time, People Magazine reported,"Hodgman, 42, a low-key but tenacious attorney known for his ability to keep juries focused on the facts, suffered chest pains and began gasping for air explaining that it happened hours after opening statements during a prosecution strategy session." Though doctors later cleared Hodgman saying that he suffered chest pains due to stress, he went on to play a much more limited role in the trial. Today, Hodgman is still an ADA in Los Angeles. He gave a lengthy interview to PBS back in 2005 about his work on the O.J. Simpson case.
6
Robert Kardashian - David Schwimmer
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Friends alum David Schwimmer is currently playing O.J. Simpson's friend, confidant and lawyer Robert Kardashian in American Crime Story. The Kardashian patriarch met and befriended Simpson back in the 1970s during the highlight of the former NFL star's football career. Despite pressure from his family, Kardashian stood by Simpson's side during his murder trial, and the duo remained friends until Kardashian passed away from cancer in 2003. We're sure you've heard of the late lawyer's infamous ex-wife and children by now.
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7
Christopher Darden - Sterling K. Brown
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Former prosecutor Christopher Darden, who is being portrayed by Supernatural alum Sterling K. Brown, told the Huffington Post that he was "devastated and decimated by the trial." Alongside head prosecutor Marcia Clark, Darden left the District Attorney’s Office in 1995 and went on to teach criminal law. Darden also wrote a book, In Contempt where he discuss his very personal relationship with Clark he says he had, "a weekend getaway to San Francisco with Clark, and the two had feelings for each other." After the trail, Darden had to take out a restraining order against the mother of his "love child" who was totally obsessed with the O.J. trial. The women occasionally sends emails as Nicole Brown Simpson. Now 59-years-old, Darden is a defense attorney in a private practice and has written several crime novels.
8
Judge Lance Ito - Kenneth Choi
Kenneth Choi, The People v OJ Simpson, FX, Judge Lance Ito, Getty, 032816
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Sons of Anarchy alum Kenneth Choi is currently portraying Judge Lance Ito on the FX American Crime series. When Ito was assigned to the Simpson murder trail in '95 he presided over felony criminal cases at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown LA. During the Simpson trails, Ito was highly criticized for allowing TV cameras in the courtroom. An estimated 100 million people nationwide stopped what they were doing to watch or listen to the verdict announcement. Judge Lance Ito retired in 2015, and currently spends his days with his wife of 30-years, Peggy.
9
Gil Garcetti - Bruce Greenwood
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Actor Bruce Greenwood stars as former LA District Attorney Gil Garcetti who served two terms as the DA from 1992-2000. Garcetti entered the race shortly after the horrific 1991 Rodney King beatings by the LAPD. His first term was then dominated by the O.J. Simpson trial which was exhausting and costly to his department. Despite Simpson's acquittal, Garcetti narrowly won the reelection in 1996. Gil Garcetti's son Eric Garcetti is the current mayor of Los Angeles.
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10
Mark Fuhrman - Steven Pasquale
Mark Fuhrman, Getty, Steven Pasquale, The People v OJ Simpson, FX, 032816
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Actor Steven Pasquale plays embittered former detective Mark Fuhrman, who famously discovered the the bloody glove on O.J Simpson’s estate. However, after perjuring himself about his use of racial slurs, Fuhrman was barred from serving as a police officer ever again. Since leaving the LAPD in '95, the 63-year-old has written several true crime novels and is currently a crime-scene expert for Fox News. To this day, Fuhrman maintains that Simpson is guilty of murder, and places blame for his acquittal on the failures of the lead detectives and of the prosecution to adequately argue their case.
11
F. Lee Bailey-  Nathan Lane
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Acting veteran Nathan Lane portrays former attorney F.Lee Bailey whose famous cross-examination of former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman is considered by many to be the key to O.J. Simpson's acquittal. Bailey got the detective to claim, "marine to marine, he never used the word "ni**er" to describe blacks at any time during the previous ten years, a claim the defense team easily found evidence to refute. Bailey also famously kept a flask on him at all times, often putting it on display at the defense table. Robert Kardashian went on to proclaim that the flask only ever contained coffee. Since the trail, the now 82-year-old has had a number of visible defeats, legal controversies, and personal trouble with the law. He has since been disbarred.
12
Billy Magnussen - Kato Kaelin
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Into the Woods star Billy Magnussen is currently starring in FX's The People v O.J. Simpson as Kato Kaelin. Kaelin was staying in O.J. Simpson's guest house at the time of Brown-Simpson and Goldman's murders and thus, he witnessed some of Simpson's movements before and after the time of the murder. Initially, the state liked Kalein as their witness because his statements contradicted those of Simpson's. However, he was subsequently labeled a hostile witness because of his sarcastic ramblings and inconsistent testimony. The media however, loved Kato Kalein because of his freeloading ways and carefree persona. The now 56-year-old has a clothing line called Slacker Wear.
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13
Kris Jenner - Selma Blair
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Actress Selma Blair is playing the reality momager and mogul Kris Jenner. Though we all know the now 60-year-old socialite because of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jenner first met O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson when she was just 17-years-old. She recently told People Magazine, "{O.J. and Nicole} were two of the best friends I ever had in my entire life." Tragically, the day that Brown Simpson's body was found, she and Jenner had lunch plans. Jenner has been greatly supportive of the FX series saying that she hopes it spreads light on domestic violence. She went on to say, "That was stuff I didn't know anything about. I beat myself up because I felt like I wasn't paying attention. Like, how did I miss this? But that's typical in an abusive relationship – that the woman doesn't speak out about how she's being treated."
14
Faye Resnick - Connie Britton
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Nashville actress Connie Britton is starring as Faye Resnick, Nicole Brown Simpson's best friend. Resnick initially met Brown Simpson in 1990. Resnick was actually living with Brown Simpson before heading to rehab for a cocaine addiction. She left only four days before the murders occurred. During the trail, O.J. Simpson's defense team alleged that Brown and Goldman were murdered by drug dealers who Resnick owed money too. Since the trail, Resnick went on to write several books including Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted and Shattered: In the Eye of the Storm. She has also appeared in several episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
15
Denise Brown - Jordana Brewster
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Fast & Furious alum Jordana Brewster plays Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson's sister who testified about the abuse Nicole suffered at the hands of O.J. Simpson. After the devastating results of the trial, Denise, along with her other sister Tanya, have spoken out against domestic violence founding, The Nicole Brown Foundation.  Jordana Brewster, who always admired Denise Brown's strength, has refrained from reaching out to the now 58-year-old. Brewster told CBS News, "I thought it would be kind of selfish to reach out to her because she lost her sister so I didn't think it would be respectful. I would imagine that it's still very tender."
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16
A.C. Cowlings - Malcolm-Jamal Warner
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The Cosby Show alum, Malcolm-Jamal Warner  portrays O.J. Simpson's BFF and former NFL teammate A.C. Cowlings in FX's American Crime Story. Cowlings was behind the wheel of the white Bronco helping Simpson flee from police in the historic car chase. During the sensationalized trial, he also set up a 900 number, charging callers $2.99 a minute to hear his thoughts about the case. Since then, Cowling has kept a very low profile and for good reason, he filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and has been working in LA as a handbag salesman. Apparently, Cowling has gone as far as to threaten FX with a lawsuit if he was depicted unfavorably.
17
Paula Barbieri - Angie Patterson
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Actress Angie Patterson stars as Paula Barbieri, O.J. Simpson's former girlfriend, who on the morning of the murders left Simpson a 30-minute long message on his answering machine, breaking up with him and saying she was flying to Las Vegas to be with singer Michael Bolton. After Simpson was charged with the murders, Barbieri got back together with him and stayed with him until after the verdict was read. In September 1997, the former model released a book, The Other Woman: My Years With O.J. Simpson. She is now a born-again Christian.

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