25 Years Later, Here’s What The Major Players In The O.J. Simpsons Case Are Doing
It’s been a quarter of a century since the case that was dubbed “the trial of the century.” For most of us millennials, we’ve spent the vast majority of our lives knowing O.J. Simpson as the alleged murderer who likely got away with committing a heinous crime. But the reason his murder trial was such a big deal is because of how huge of a celebrity he was. He was a mega star in the NFL for over a decade and set records that stand to this very day.
He starred in movies. Imagine if a star of that magnitude in this day and age was charged of such a crime. And beyond that, imagine that all the available evidence pointed to their guilt, but they wound up getting off. It’s no wonder that this story is still fresh in the minds of our culture so many years later. So after two and a half decades, what are the major players in the O.J. Simpson case up to these days?
O.J. Simpson Then
In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges in the double murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
However, a civil jury in 1997 found Simpson liable for wrongful death and he was ordered to pay millions to the families.
That wasn’t the end of his legal woes. In 2007, Simpson led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel and casino to steal what he claims were his own sports memorabilia items, at gunpoint. He was charged with kidnapping and armed robbery, found guilty in the botched robbery and in 2008 was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.
O.J. Simpson Now
Many felt that Simpson would spend the rest of his life in prison, and that it was delayed justice served for a crime he was wrongfully found not guilty of.
However, it wasn’t to be. After nine years behind bars, the former NFL player was granted parole In 2017.
He walked out of Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Institute on Oct. 1, 2017. Now 71, Simpson is living in Las Vegas. He has always maintained his innocence in the double murder, despite writing a controversial novel titled If I Did It.
Attorney Robert Kardashian had been best friends with O.J. Simpson for decades before the 1994 double murder.
Simpson spent the night before he was expected to turn himself into police at Kardashian’s home.
Instead of surrendering, Simpson left Kardashian’s home in a white Ford Bronco with his friend Al Cowlings, leading police on a slow-speed chase that brought Southern California freeways to a standstill. Kardashian joined Simpson’s legal “Dream Team,” sitting with his friend at the defense table during the 1995 trial.
Kardashian later told ABC News’ Barbara Walters, that the blood evidence was “the most devastating part of the whole trial for me.”
“I wake up in the middle of the night,” Kardashian told ABC News. “I’m so conflicted because of that blood evidence. It’s very difficult for me.”
Kardashian died in 2003 from esophageal cancer at the age of 59. Kardashian’s first wife, Kris, and four children, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob, were then launched into stardom. Kim Kardashian West was worth $350 million as of last year, according to Forbes.
Robert Shapiro Then
One sad aspect of the trial was that not only was justice arguably not served, but it was used as a platform to make some rich opportunists even richer.
Robert Shapiro, a celebrity defense attorney who at that point had already represented Christian Brando, was the lead counsel for Simpson until Cochran joined the “Dream Team,” pushing Shapiro to the side.
Shapiro, known for having frequent press conferences throughout Simpson’s trial, went on to write best-selling legal books and offer legal analysis for news shows. He also helped found the website LegalZoom.com.
Robert Shapiro Now
As you’ll see, while the “dream team” were made more rich and famous from this case, terrible events occurred afterwards for all of them.
Shapiro started a foundation in memory of his son, Brent Shapiro, who died from drugs in 2005.
Shapiro happened to stay close to Robert Kardashian’s family after Kardashian’s death. He went on to defend son Rob Kardashian against revenge porn allegations and Khloe Kardashian’s then-husband Lamar Odom in a driving under the influence (DUI) case.
Charismatic defense attorney Johnnie Cochran was brought onto Simpson’s defense team to connect with the jury.
He famously said of the infamous bloody glove during his closing argument, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
After the acquittal, Cochran went on to make guest appearances on shows including Family Matters and The Howard Stern Show.
After the Simpson trial, he defended Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. Cochran was 67 when he died in 2005 of an inoperable brain tumor.
Kato Kaelin Then
The “trial of the century” was televised on a near daily basis, and made giant celebrities out of everyone involved.
One such person that entered pop culture forever as a result was O.J. Simpson’s friend, Brian “Kato” Kaelin, who was living in a bungalow on Simpson’s property at the time of the murders.
He was a witness for the prosecution, detailing his and Simpson’s movements the night of the crime. His testimony made him an overnight celebrity. What’s he been up to since?
Kato Kaelin Now
In 2015, Kaelin told Barbara Walters, “In hindsight of everything, like 20 years later, I think that O.J. Simpson is guilty.”
Kaelin continues to live in Los Angeles. He’s trying to move on from the trial, but knows that it is what he’s best known for.
His Twitter bio reads: “Former houseguest, current adult, but now living behind my own house- my Instagram RULES.” Kaelin, a native of Milwaukee, often tweets about Milwaukee sports. He appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2019.
Marcia Clark Then
It wasn’t just those surrounding the ultra famous Simpson that were thrust into the spotlight by this trial.
The defense became famous, but the prosecution became just as well-known, as the public watched on week by week, getting to know all the players.
Marcia Clark had been a prosecutor with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for over a decade, working on trials including the murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, when she was assigned the Simpson case. Ultimately, many felt her team botched their case.
Marcia Clark Now
After the acquittal, Clark wrote in her memoir, “I felt like I’d let everyone down. Without a Doubt. The Goldmans. The Browns. My team. The country.”
She left the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in 1997. After, Clark went on to write several crime novels.
Clark also works in TV. She was most recently a co-writer and executive producer of legal drama The Fix which aired on ABC in 2019. Speaking of the family members of the victims, what have they been up to, as they were the most affected by this crime?
Tanya Brown was only seven years old when her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, began dating O.J. Simpson.
Brown is now an author, motivational speaker and advocate for domestic violence victims. Her goal is to help “others bounce back from adversity.”
If her older sister was alive, she would have turned 60 last month. Tanya Brown spoke of her late sister in an interview with Inside Edition, saying, “60. What would she look like? But I know exactly what she’d be doing. She’d be hanging out with the kids, she’d be sending the kids to college.”
Fred And Kim Goldman Then
Most remember the murder of Simpon’s wife Nicole Brown, but many forget she wasn’t the only victim. Ron Goldman was also murdered that night.
Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, and sister, Kim Goldman, were a constant presence at the 1995 criminal trial.
Kim Goldman went on to become a victims’ advocate. She’s also the executive director of a non-profit which provides youth services in the Santa Clarita Valley area of Southern California. Both Fred and Kim Goldman remain outspoken against Simpson.
Fred And Kim Goldman Now
“It was shocking” to learn Simpson was granted parole, Kim Goldman told Good Morning America in 2017. “Like everybody else we watched them unanimously willing to release him and it was very disappointing.”
“We’ve lived our life with him being a free man, we’ve done this. So, we’ve had nine years of reprieve. We’re going to go back to doing what we’ve done.
I run a non-profit working with teenagers, I do stories on other victims and survivors, I’m raising my kids. We’re active in the world of victims and survivors’ advocacy. We’re going to continue doing those things and take it one day at a time and if he chooses to write a book, or do a reality show, we’ll be there.”
Simpson hasn’t chosen to remain silent or keep a low profile. He recently started his own Twitter account to much controversy.
On the matter of Simpson possibly earning money off of his notoriety in the future, Fred Goldman gave his thoughts to Good Morning America in 2017.
“We’re going to jump on him. To get some satisfaction of justice. It was never about the money [in the civil case.] It was punishment, and we didn’t have the opportunity to see him go to jail or death row for murder, but he got a judgment against him and honoring that judgment or making him honor the judgment is the only punishment that we can get from him.”