Simpson says he is moving out of the shadow of one of America’s most notorious murder cases (AP Photo)As the 25th anniversary of one of America’s most notorious unsolved murder cases approaches, prime suspect OJ Simpson says life is good.
The Hall of Fame football hero and ex-movie star said he and his family refuse to revisit ‘the worst day of our lives’ when his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were slaughtered outside her home in Los Angeles on June 12, 1994.
His subsequent ‘Trial of the Century’ captivated America, ushering in the dawn of 24/7 news coverage and shining an uncomfortable light on issues of racism, police misconduct, celebrity and domestic violence.
The former football and movie star at his home in Nevada last week (Picture: AP)In a telephone interview, Simpson, 71, said he is healthy and happy living in Las Vegas.
‘We don’t need to go back and relive the worst day of our lives,’ he said.
‘The subject of the moment is the subject I will never revisit again. My family and I have moved on to what we call the “no negative zone”. We focus on the positives.’
Victims Nicole Brown Simpson (left) and Ron Goldman (right) (Picture: AP)
Simpson’s white Ford Bronco, driven by close friend Al Cowlings carrying O.J. Simpson trailed by Los Angeles police cars as it travels on a freeway in Los Angeles (Picture: AP)
In one of the most infamous closing salvos of all time Simpson’s lawyer Johnnie Cochran Jr. told jurors of the bloody gloves left by the killer: ‘If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit’ (Picture: AFP)
O.J. Simpson flanked by attorneys F. Lee Bailey (left) and Cochran (right) following the verdicts (Picture AP)But the pain has not faded for Mr Goldman’s family.
His sister Kim said ‘closure’ was not a word that resonates with her, adding that she doesn’t ‘suffocate in [her] grief’ either.
‘But every milestone that my kid hits, every milestone that I hit, you know, those are just reminders of what I’m not able to share with my brother and what he is missing out on,’ she said.
Kim Goldman has continued to make the case publicly that it was OJ Simpson who killed her brother and Simpson’s ex-wife (Picture: AP)Ron Goldman, then 25, was returning a pair of sunglasses that Nicole Brown Simpson’s mother had left at a restaurant where he worked when he and Simpson’s ex-wife were stabbed and slashed dozens of times in a brutal attack.
Despite what appeared on the face of it to be a strong case against him, Simpson’s ‘Dream Team’ secured his acquittal the following year in a case that seemed to split the nation along racial lines, with many white Americans left feeling like he got away with murder and black people confident in his innocence.Simpson has always maintained somebody else was responsible and the case officially remains unsolved.
Simpson in the garden of his Nevada home. He says ‘life is good’ (Picture: AP)However, a civil suit filed by Mr Goldman’s family in 1997 found him ‘liable’ for both deaths, awarding $33.5million to the victims’ families – the bulk of which was never recovered.
For a man who once lived for the spotlight, Simpson has generally kept a low profile since his release from prison in October 2017 following a nine-year stretch for robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas.
Instead of returning to Florida, where he had lived for several years before his incarceration, he was persuaded to stay in Nevada.
‘The town has been good to me,’ Simpson said.
Alluding to the convictions, which he still disputes the fairness of, he added: ‘Everybody I meet seems to be apologising for what happened to me here.’
He remains among the most sought-after figures in town for selfies and plays golf every day.
Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada (Picture: AP)
He had served nine years for robbery and kidnapping (Picture: AP)Simpson said he remains close to his children and other relatives and his parole officer has given him permission to take short trips, including to Florida, where his two younger children, Justin and Sydney, have built careers in real estate.
His older daughter, Arnelle, lives with him much of the time but also commutes to Los Angeles.
‘I’ve been to Florida two or three times to see the kids and my old buddies in Miami,’ he said.
‘I even managed to play a game of golf with them. But I live in a town I’ve learned to love. Life is fine.’
After his football career, Simpson became a commercial pitchman, actor and football commentator.
Once a multimillionaire, he says most of his fortune was spent defending himself from the murder charges.