In 2006, O.J. Simpson gave an as-yet-unseen interview with publisher Judith Regan, who eventually published the controversial book If I Did It through HarperCollins. That book was born, in part, from the contents of the interview, which has never been showcased for the public.
Until now, that is.
Airing on Sunday, March 11 on Fox, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? will feature the interview with “limited interruptions.”
In the 12-year-old footage, Simpson gives a shocking (and as he says hypothetical) account of the events of June 12, 1994. On that fateful night, Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were brutally murdered near the front entrance of her home.
Found not guilty of the murders in a criminal trial, Simpson had a $33.5-million civil judgment levied against him in the 1997 wrongful death lawsuit brought by the Goldman and Brown families. (He hasn’t paid one cent to either family.)
In 2006, Regan reportedly paid Simpson US$3.5 million to participate in the book’s creation, and it was lined up to be a Fox TV special.
But Fox nixed it after public outrage that Simpson was paid for the interview. Regan was subsequently fired from HarperCollins and she sued News Corp. (HarperCollins’ parent company) for defamation.
The case was eventually settled, and the book was later released by the Goldman family, but the special never saw the light of day.
Multiple sources are reporting that Fox was given approval by the Goldman and Brown families to air the interview after the tapes were rediscovered in a box at the studio.
In the interview, Simpson recounts the night’s events in the third person, and refers to an accomplice who was with him at Brown’s house. At some point, he reverts to the first person, which some say is an indication of his guilt.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ also reports that Simpson describes going to Brown’s house in an attempt to “scare the s**t out of her.” He says he took the infamous Bronco to her home with his friend, and only brought a knife, hat and leather gloves to appear threatening.
Then, allegedly, according to Simpson, he looked into Brown’s window and saw lit candles and assumed she was about to have romantic company. Goldman showed up at that moment and Simpson went into a rage as Brown came running outside.
Simpson then says he “blacked out” and regained consciousness covered in blood, according to TMZ’s account of the interview.
“This is one story the whole world got wrong,” Simpson says in the show’s teaser trailer. Soledad O’Brien will host the two-hour special, joined by a panel of analysts who’ll break down the interview and discuss the historical might of the 1995 “Trial of the Century.”
Simpson was released on parole in October 2017 after spending nearly nine years behind bars for a botched hotel-room heist.
(You can watch the trailer for the upcoming special, top.)