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Nancy Grace: Johnny Cochran Played Judge Lance Ito 'Like A Fiddle'

She blames the judge for the courtroom "circus" of the O.J. Simpson trial.

People may have differing opinions regarding O.J. Simpson's guilt or innocence in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but there's one thing about the divisive case that's hard for anyone to argue: It was a circus.

That's how TV personality and former Atlanta prosecutor Nancy Grace describes the drama and chaos of the O.J. Simpson trial that took place more than 20 years ago. Speaking with "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" recently, Grace didn't mince words in pointing at the party she believes to be most responsible for allowing that courtroom to devolve into such a spectacle.

"I put that blame squarely on the shoulders of the judge, Judge Lance Ito," she says. "He could have put a stop to all of that."

However, Grace asserts that Ito was too caught up in the celebrity and high-profile theatrics of the case to preside any differently.

"He was star-struck from the get-go," she says. "Johnny Cochran played him like a fiddle."

The nature of the O.J. Simpson trial also highlighted a shift in our culture as a whole, Grace adds. 

"Everyone was already interested in crime -- true crime novels, movies, specials -- but that [trial] made it clear that there was a huge appetite for crime," she says.

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

Related: What Kim Goldman says we all keep forgetting about the O.J. case

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