As FX’s miniseries The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story brings ‘The Trial of the Century’ back into the spotlight 21 years later, INSIDE EDITION looks at where the key players from the murder trial are today.
In 1995, Simpson was found not guilty of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. But in 1997, the Goldman and Brown families took Simpson back to court in a civil case and he was ordered to pay $25 million in punitive damages.
In 2007, Simpson was arrested for leading a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel and casino to steal his own sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He was charged with felonies including kidnapping and armed robbery and in 2008, a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
He is now serving his time at Lovelock Correctional Facility in Lovelock, Nevada.
INSIDE EDITION recently spoke with a former prison guard who said the former NFL star keeps a picture of his slain wife next to his bed and gets upset on their anniversary.
“He's a model inmate,” Jeffrey Felix said. “Most respect him. He treats everybody politely - he's well mannered.”
Felix added that when Simpson first went to prison in 2008, he piled on the pounds.
“He would eat lots of cookies. That why he put on the weight,” he said.
Just before his parole hearing in 2013, he went on a diet and dropped 40 pounds by eating just salmon and rice, he said.
But last month, Simpson's best friend, Tom Scotto, said Simpson now tips the scales at 300 pounds.
“He's very, very heavy,” Scotto said. “He's gained a lot of weight, he eats commissary food and it's all junk food.”
Simpson is up for parole in 2017.
Brian “Kato” Kaelin was an out-of-work actor staying at Simpson’s home the night of the murders.
He became an instant celebrity because of his looks and attitude. Throughout the trial, even when he was not on stand, he became fodder for many late night comedians.
Following his rise to fame in the trial, he appeared in many low budget movies including National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 2. He has also appeared in many reality shows like Celebrity Boot Camp, Reality Bites Back and Gimme My Reality Show.
He now plays a small role in FX’s series Baskets, the same network airing the Simpson miniseries. He also hosts a show called Sports Haters and has a clothing line called Slacker Wear.
In January, he told IE: “The new generation are gonna view this [The People Vs. O.J. Simpson] as a documentary,” he said. “It's the furthest thing from a documentary.”
Nicole’s sister, Denise, took the stand and claimed that her younger sibling was abused by Simpson during their marriage, which Simpson denied.
Since her sister’s murder, she has become an advocate against domestic violence and travels the country to speak and help raise funds for women’s shelters.
In 2015, she tried to raise money via Kickstarter for a documentary telling her family’s side of the story but she later abandoned the project.
Prior to the FX series airing, Denise and Nicole’s older sister Tanya (pictured below) spoke to IE about the show.
She said: “Shame on Cuba Gooding Jr. Shame on John Travolta. Not one person called my family to say we are doing this movie, no one asked what [Nicole] was like.”
Following the trial, she gave televised interviews discussing the murder. She also published a book in 2014 called Can’t Forgive about her 20-year battle after the loss of her brother.
Prior to FX’s miniseries airing, she told IE: “I'm trying to prepare myself for liberties that will be taken to make it more sensationalistic, as if it needed that.”
During the trial, Ron Goldman’s father was an outspoken advocate for his son and slammed Simpson in the press before the jury reached their verdict.
Following the murder trial, Fred Goldman pursued civil charges against Simpson for being liable for Ron’s death. He won $33.5 million in the suit. Part of the settlement included the rights and proceeds of Simpson’s bestseller, If I Did It. He also won rights to Simpson’s name, likeness and life story and seized Simpson’s coveted Heisman Trophy.
Goldman moved from Los Angeles to Arizona with his wife Patti and works in retail sales. The family poured money from the settlement into the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice, which they founded.
Al “AC” Cowlings
Al “AC” Cowlings was Simpson’s best friend since high school. They both attended USC and played professionally together for the Buffalo Bills.
AC was famously behind the wheel of the white Bronco used in the slow-speed chase.
He was charged with a felony for aiding a fugitive and released on $250,000 bail. District Attorney Gil Garcetti opted not to prosecute him.
Since the murders, he has kept a low profile. Ten years after the trial, reporters found him working as a handbag sales representative in Los Angeles. He reportedly filed for bankruptcy in 1997.
According to published reports earlier this year, Cowlings threatened FX with a lawsuit if the show portrayed him in a bad light.
O.J. and Nicole’s Children
Simpson and his late wife had two children together, Sydney and Justin. Sydney was eight and Justin, pictured today in his LinkedIn profile, was five at the time of their mother’s murder.
During the trial, their material grandparents became their legal guardians. Following the trial, they have kept low profiles.
After college in Boston, Sydney reportedly lived in Atlanta before moving to Florida last year. In January, prior to the FX series airing, photographers tracked down Sydney, now 30, but she refused to answer questions.
Justin, now 27, works as a real estate agent in Florida and lives close to his sister.
His profile on the real estate company's website reads: “Justin has seen a diverse spectrum of markets from Los Angeles to Chicago, Miami and Atlanta... Having a family immersed in hospitality, Justin sets himself apart by dominating customer service and his communication/negotiation skills give his clients the competitive edge!”
In an interview with People magazine earlier this year, Nicole Simpson’s younger sister Tanya said Sydney and Justin are "so grounded."
"I am so proud of what and who they become,” she said.
“The Dream Team”
Simpson hired the legal defense of Johnnie Cochran, Robert Kardashian, F. Lee Bailey, Robert Shapiro, Alan Dershowitz, Gerald Uelmen, Carl E. Douglas, as well as Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who specialized in DNA evidence.
Despite being branded the “Dream Team,” Dershowitz recently told INSIDE EDITION that was far from the truth.
“It was a nightmare team,” he said. “The lawyer’s egos were clashing. Everybody was trying to take credit. We won, not because we were good but because the prosecution so was so bad.”
Following the trial, each of the high profile attorneys made bigger names for themselves.
In 2013, Robert Shapiro was listed as “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal. He also launched a foundation to help drug addicted youngsters after his son, Brent, overdosed and died in 2005.
Robert Kardashian, Simpson’s close friend, passed away in 2003 from esophageal cancer. His family name would become part of American pop culture thanks to the reality series, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
Johnnie Cochran, famous for his quips during the trial including “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” would establish himself as a top police brutality and civil rights lawyer. He expanded his law firm to 15 states before he died of brain cancer in 2005.
F. Lee Bailey tried to paint LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman as a racist cop during the trial and made his mark on the case by doing so. Nearly 20 years later, his career took a dramatic turn when he was disbarred in Massachusetts and Florida for misconduct, which he disputed. He moved to Maine, where he passed the state's bar exam. But when he applied for a license to practice, it was rejected after the Maine Board of Bar Examiners said he did not have the appropriate moral character.
DNA legal experts Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld founded the Innocence Project, which uses DNA evidence to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners. The project has helped overturn more than 200 cases.
After the trial, Alan Dershowitz continued to practice law and later became a bestselling author, writing many true crime books. He currently appears on television as a legal pundit for various news channels.
Gerald Uelmen continued to practice law and is a professor of law at Santa Clara University.
Carl E. Douglas also continues to practice law. Following the Simpson trial, he had many high-profile clients including Tupac Shakur and Sean Combs. In 2007, he was honored as the Consumer Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles “Trial Lawyer of the Year.”
LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman, seen in the Getty image above, was the first law enforcement official to go to Simpson’s house to question him, but he wasn’t home.
During the trial, Simpson’s legal team tried to allege that the detective planted the infamous bloody glove on Simpson’s property as part of a racially motivated effort to frame the star.
Witnesses from the detective’s past were called to make a case against his reputation and paint him as a racist cop. Fuhrman testified that he had not used the N-word in the last 10 years and branded anyone who said he had as a liar. He pleaded no contest to perjury charges.
He retired in August 1995, two months before the jury in the Simpson case announced their verdict.
He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and has written many true crime books, including one on the Simpson case, Murder in Brentwood.
Marcia Clark, pictured above seen on The View, was the California state prosecutor leading the pack against Simpson. She became a tabloid sensation during the trial after the National Enquirer posted topless photos of her on the beach.
After Simpson was acquitted, she never tried another case and stopped practicing law. She currently contributes to cable networks on high-profile trials and cases.
As well as writing about the Simpson trial, she has also penned a series of mystery novels.
Judge Lance Ito
Judge Lance Ito was known as the “Most Watched Judge in America” thanks to the Simpson trial.
He has presided over 500 trials since the Simpson case. In 2014, he decided not to stand for reelection to the bench and eventually retired.
He keeps a low profile and occasionally teaches at California law schools.