What The 'American Crime' Finale Didn't Reveal About O.J.'s Fate

Simpson's most famous legal battle wasn't his last.
O.J. Simpson smiles on Oct. 3, 1995, after the court clerk announces he was found not guilty.
O.J. Simpson smiles on Oct. 3, 1995, after the court clerk announces he was found not guilty.
POOL New / Reuters

In the final episode of FX's dramatization of the O.J. Simpson trial, "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," prosecutors struggle to rein in their excitement when they hear the jury has reached a verdict after just four hours' deliberation. (To illustrate how unusual that is, the jury on Charles Manson's murder trial deliberated for nine days.) According to prosecutor Chris Darden, played by Sterling K. Brown, a relatively quick deliberation put the verdict in their favor. ("Statistically.") Yet Simpson was found not guilty, and the FX series ended Tuesday with that verdict and its immediate aftermath.

But Simpson's most famous trial wasn't his last. Here's what happened after the historic Oct. 3, 1995, decision to acquit "the Juice."

Oct. 3, 1995: After he was acquitted, Simpson threw a champagne victory party at his Rockingham estate.

“After the verdict was handed down, the West LAPD -- because Rockingham is in our jurisdiction -- had to send police units over there to O.J.’s house for crowd control and to protect the estate while they were preparing for a party to celebrate the deaths of two people,” Detective Paul Bishop told Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne. “Forty crates of champagne were brought in. We sat there and did it. This is our job. We may not like it, but we did it."

Oct. 4, 1995: Simpson calls in to "Larry King Live."

After the verdict, Simpson's friend and lawyer Robert Kardashian told Barbara Walters in an ABC News interview that Simpson's first interview would "probably" be a pay-per-view special. Though not quite an interview, Simpson made a surprise call into "Larry King Live" to criticize a caller for not having the facts of his case right.

Oct. 10, 1995: Simpson promises "Dateline" a hard-hitting interview.

After it became apparent that pay-per-view outlets wanted nothing to do with Simpson, NBC announced that Simpson would be interviewed by Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric in the middle of a special three-hour broadcast of "Dateline NBC." NBC went out of their way to specify that they would "not profit" from the interview. Andrew Lack, then president of NBC News, told the Los Angeles Times that Simpson "agreed there will be no ground rules, and that Tom and Katie may ask him questions on anything."

The following day, Simpson cancelled his "Dateline" appearance.

Oct. 13, 1995: According to the LA Times, O.J. is officially a pariah.

In short order after his release, Simpson was dropped by his talent agency, International Creative Management, saw a national television interview flounder, failed to land a pay-per-view special and -- closer to home -- learned that members of his once intimate country club crowd are talking about freezing him out.

At the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, women are circulating a petition for his ouster, his picture is punctured by a thumb tack on a locker room bulletin board and even a former golfing buddy says: "He is persona non grata."

Nov. 1, 1995: Girlfriend Paula Barbieri dumps Simpson on "Primetime Live" with Diane Sawyer.

Paula Barbieri and O.J. Simpson in New York City.
Paula Barbieri and O.J. Simpson in New York City.
New York Daily News via Getty Images

Simpson's girlfriend stuck by him throughout the trial only to publicly cut ties with him in an interview with Diane Sawyer less than a month after he was acquitted. Barbieri said she decided to end things with Simpson after he visited her in Florida and wanted to sell photos of their reunion to the tabloids.

February 1996: Simpson releases "The Interview" for $29.95.

Still desperate to cash in, Simpson was reportedly paid $3 million to tell onetime Los Angeles TV journalist Ross Becker his version of the events surrounding the murders of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

The two-and-a-half-hour video was priced at $29.95 and was available only by mail order via toll-free number, 1-800-OJ-TELLS.

Oct. 23, 1996: Civil trial begins.

The families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman filed a wrongful death suit against Simpson after he was found not guilty in criminal court. When the trial began, lawyers for the families promised to present an "extraordinary amount" of evidence that would prove Simpson murdered his ex-wife and her friend. Simpson didn't testify in the criminal case, but he was deposed and called to testify in the civil case, which allowed the the plaintiff's lawyers to poke substantial holes in his answers.

Dec. 20, 1996: Simpson wins custody of his children.

A judge granted Simpson full custody of his two children, Sydney, 11, and Justin, 8, after their mother's parents failed to show that living with Simpson "would be clearly detrimental to their well-being." Two appeals courts would later overturn this ruling. However, it appears Simpson and the Browns eventually reached a custody agreement in May 1999.

Feb. 4, 1997: Civil trial jury finds Simpson liable for the murders.

After five days of deliberations, the jury found Simpson liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. They awarded the families $8.5 million in compensatory damages and later would award another $25 million in punitive damages.

Oct. 24, 2001: Jury acquits Simpson in road rage case.

Yes, another trial. Simpson was charged with battery and auto burglary after an alleged confrontation with another motorist in December 2000. Simpson was accused of pulling a pair of expensive sunglasses off another driver during a heated exchange, which in turn alleged scratched the forehead of the motorist.

After deliberating for 90 minutes, the jury acquitted Simpson of all charges.

Dec. 4, 2001: The FBI searches Simpson’s Miami home.

As part of an investigation into an international ecstasy drug ring, federal and local authorities carried out the raid after hearing Simpson's name mentioned by a suspect in a wiretapped conversation. The FBI also believed the group was laundering money and distributing counterfeit equipment used to steal satellite TV. No illegal substances were found at Simpson's residence.

Nov. 6, 2002: A judge briefly issues an arrest warrant for Simpson.

Simpson was ticketed on July 4, 2002, for creating a wake with his boat in a manatee protection zone off the Miami coast. Because he did not pay the fine, he was ordered to appear in court Nov. 6, but failed to appear due to what his lawyers explained as a scheduling mix-up. The warrant was quickly withdrawn, and an attorney for Simpson paid a $130 fine on his behalf a few weeks later.

July 26, 2005: Simpson is ordered to pay $25,000 to DirecTV.

DirecTV accused Simpson of pirating its signals after the 2001 raid on his home turned up evidence. "This ruling serves as a reminder that there are consequences to signal theft, whether you're O.J. Simpson or John Q. Public," a representative for the company said.

Judith Regan, who then planned to publish <em>If I Did It</em>, speaks on SIRIUS Satellite Radio on Nov. 16, 2006.
Judith Regan, who then planned to publish If I Did It, speaks on SIRIUS Satellite Radio on Nov. 16, 2006.
Amy Sussman via Getty Images

Nov. 20, 2006: News Corp. shuts down a book deal and TV interview with Simpson.

The book and interview would have given his account of the 1994 murders from Simpson's perspective, if he'd done it. Shamelessly titled If I Did It, copies of the book that had already been shipped to publishers by the time the deal was terminated were ordered to be recalled and destroyed.

In a partial transcript of the interview later released, Simpson says, "As things got heated, I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself. And this guy kind of got into a karate thing. ... I remember I grabbed the knife." Although he's careful to call his description a hypothetical one, when Simpson was later asked about putting on a glove, he said, oddly, "You know, I had no conscious memory of doing that, but obviously I must have because they found a glove there."

Feb. 20, 2007: Simpson is ordered to pay the family of Ron Goldman royalties from past work.

Simpson has paid very little of the $33.5 million awarded the Goldman family after the 1997 civil trial. A decade later, a California judge ruled that any royalties Simpson receives from his past film, television and commercial work are to go toward the family of Ron Goldman. The amount of those royalties is not clear, but did not cover the advance he received for his participation in If I Did It.

July 30, 2007: The Goldman family is awarded rights to the If I Did It manuscript.

Fred Goldman said he wanted to release the book to portray Simpson as "a wife-beater, as a murderer, written in his own words."

Yet, in 2014, Simpson's former manager Norman Pardo told The Huffington Post that Simpson was not involved at all. Instead, Simpson accepted $600,000 from the publisher on the condition he did not deny his involvement. According to Pardo, Simpson could not be discouraged from taking the money, responding, "Everybody thinks I’m a murderer anyway. They’re not going to change their mind just because of a book."

Room 1203 of the Palace Station Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Simpson was charged with allegedly leading an armed robbery.
Room 1203 of the Palace Station Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Simpson was charged with allegedly leading an armed robbery.
Pool via Getty Images

Sept. 13, 2007: Simpson allegedly leads an armed robbery at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino.

Simpson alleged that a dealer was holding certain sports memorabilia, including his Pro Football Hall of Fame certificate, in a room at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He told authorities that he and some friends had posed as interested buyers, but instead took the items. Simpson was arrested three days later on charges of robbery with use of a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon.

Also Sept. 13, 2007: If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer is released by Beaufort Books.

The book, written by ghostwriter Pablo Fenjves and, supposedly, Simpson himself, became a hit. The Goldman family noted that "a portion" of proceeds from the book would go to the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice to "empower" crime victims.

Oct. 3, 2008: Simpson is convicted on charges of armed robbery, and later sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Four of the men who were with Simpson at the time testified against him in court in a trial that lasted little under one month. Jurors deliberated for 13 hours before reaching a verdict. Simpson had pleaded not guilty, denying that he’d been armed at the time of the robbery. In addition, he had been briefly jailed in January 2008 for violating the terms of his bail related to the robbery. He is now serving out his term at the Lovelock Correctional Facility in a desolate region of Nevada.

Simpson is eligible for parole in 2017. Reports on his depression have circulated, and his relationship with his family is not well known. Since Sydney Brooke Simpson and Justin Brown Simpson stray into the spotlight only on rare occasions, conflicting rumors have circulated over whether they believe their father murdered their mother and her friend.

The former football star has always maintained his innocence.

Before You Go

June 1994

O.J. Simpson Timeline

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