33 Illuminating (And Savage) Details I Learned Reading The OJ Simpson ‘I Did It’ Book

Sarah Sphar
Sarah Sphar

If you’re like me, you remember this book vaguely as OJ Simpsons’ “hypothetical confession” called If I Did It, what you probably didn’t pay attention to amid the controversy of the book announcement is the legal battle that changed the name to I Did It. In a nutshell: Ron Goldman’s family was upset that OJ (via a thinly veiled corporation his children were CEO of) would profit from his crimes after taking extreme measures (extreme as in relocating to Florida extreme) to avoid paying the settlement he owed against them. They successfully litigated until the ghostwriting was in their possession and later sold the book themselves. The result is the original ghostwritten pseudo-confession wrapped in a lot of Goldman family feelings. (I recommend just reading the middle).

The book

[*] The Goldman family will only acknowledge OJ as ‘the beast’ or ‘the killer’ and refer to his friends as ‘thugs’. Of ‘the killer’ they say, “he lives his life believing he is above it all and rules that are enforceable for the rest of us don’t apply to him.”

[*] The ghostwriter who wrote the I Did It book with OJ was Pablo Fenjves, a former tabloid reporter who went on to write movies like Man on a Ledge.

[*] For people who are aware that the OJ Simpson trial is somehow at the center of all 2010’s celebrity life: OJ’s ghostwriter was also the ghostwriter of David Foster’s autobiography. The Kardashian-Foster dynasty continues.

[*] During his interviews, OJ confessed to Pablo that he hit Nicole “one time” and that “the press had turned him into the poster boy for wife abuse. And none of the problems were his fault. It was all her. Everything.

[*] When it came time for his interview about the night of the murders, OJ didn’t show up. He didn’t want to write the chapter where he said he did the murders. But he eventually showed up and gave the interview. And then he said he didn’t want to sign off of the draft. As the ghostwriter notes, “He didn’t say it was wrong, and he didn’t say it was bullshit. He just said he hated it, and he kept saying it.”

[*] When he finally got OJ to sit down, OJ claimed he wasn’t alone the night of the murders. He said, “You know I couldn’t have done this alone.” The ghostwriter told him to call his accomplice “Charlie”, assuming he was made up to ease OJ’s guilt.

[*] The ghostwriter seemed convinced of OJ’s guilt, noting details someone wouldn’t think to make up like OJ correcting him when he described the drive home from the murder scene, and the way Nicole’s dog wagging his tail at Ron Goldman tipped OJ off that Ron had been to Nicole’s home often.

OJ and Nicole’s Relationship

[*] OJ was married to his first wife when he met Nicole Brown at a restaurant (she was his waitress). For the next month, they saw each other every day. His wife was pregnant with their third child during this time.

[*] Years later, after two kids with Nicole, OJ claims Nicole started routinely getting physical with him, saying “Mostly I’d just try to get out of her way, but sometimes I had to hold her down till she got herself under control.” And then, “1989 had been torture. You never knew what was going to piss her off.”

[*] Of his spousal abuse conviction, OJ tells a heavy-handed tale of Mark Fuhrman’s buddies needing a ‘poster boy’ to launch an LAPD campaign. In the couple’s multiple run-ins with the police over their fights the details according to OJ are the same: Nicole was hysterical and the police were out to get him.

[*] Eerily, OJ says “Given the right circumstances, I guess anyone is capable of murder.”

[*] After their divorce, OJ describes Nicole (though not in so many words) as a clingy nutcase who won’t stop calling him at all hours, showing up uninvited, and demanding that he fire his female staff. At one point he says she basically “stalked” him.

[*] In a story in which he has no self-awareness about his creepiness, OJ talks about visiting Nicole’s home after their divorce and looking in her window to see her on the couch kissing another man. He knocked loudly to let them know they’d been seen and then left.

[*] Afterwards, Nicole went to Cabo with Caitlin Jenner and her first wife, Chrystie, where she met a new boyfriend. According to OJ their post-divorce relationship mostly consisted of Nicole asking him for guy advice and telling him how her therapy was going.

[*] OJ moved on and started dating Hawaiian Tropic model Paula Barbieri — the woman he called on the night of the murders.

[*] Nicole told OJ she fooled around with his good friend Marcus Allen — who was married to Kathryn Edwards (currently cast on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) at the time. Marcus and Kathryn had held their wedding at OJ’s house.

[*] After months of Nicole ‘throwing herself’ at OJ, the two began sleeping together again — which mean that OJ was cheating on his girlfriend Paula.

[*] The murders took place on June 12, 1994. From Mother’s Day 1993 to Mother’s Day 1994 (May 8, 1994) OJ and Nicole were in a relationship, determining whether they could reconcile for their kids. This means they were in a relationship as of just over a month before she was killed.

[*] OJ claims that on that infamous 911 tape, he isn’t yelling at Nicole. He was “venting” to Kato who was also present.

[*] At the time of the murders, OJ and Nicole were in contact because of the kids they shared, but they weren’t really speaking. OJ says, “And that right there is the reason we weren’t talking at the time of her death. Not because I’d threatened her, but because I’d had my goddamn fill of her. She was poisoning me with anger, and I needed to get away from it.”

the night of the murders

[*] Another waiter at Mezzaluna (where Ron Goldman worked), Brett Cantor, was knifed to death the year before the murders. OJ says it was drug-related. It’s notable that two waiters from the same upscale restaurant in a very safe neighborhood (Brentwood) were murdered only a year apart. Brett was a friend of Nicole and upon his death OJ told her, “You better open your eyes, Nicole. Nice people don’t go around getting themselves knifed to death.”

[*] Of his physical condition at the time of the murders, OJ says “I was getting old. I could hardly walk anymore, and I’d been told recently that I would eventually have to have both knees rebuilt. Plus the arthritis was killing me.”

[*] Just before the murders OJ was with Nicole and her family at a recital for one of their kids, Sydney. There, he ran into one of his friends who confirmed rumors OJ had heard about Nicole doing drugs and clubbing, hinting that they barely scratched the surface of what she had been up to.

[*] Later that night, “Charlie” (OJ’s imagined accomplice, according to the ghostwriter) showed up at OJ’s home. Charlie was there to tell OJ more of what Nicole had been up to: he’d heard a rumor about what happened on a Mexican vacation Nicole took with Faye Resnick while Nicole and OJ were still dating. The rumor was that Faye and Nicole did a lot of drugs, got drunk and did something “very kinky” with some of Charlie and OJ’s friends.

[*] At that point, OJ told Charlie to get in his Bronco, he intended to go to Nicole’s house to “read her the fucking riot act.”

[*] When he parked at Nicole’s house, OJ recalls reaching into his back seat for the wool hat and gloves he kept there. He also brought a knife he had in his car.

[*] After going through the back gate he knew to be broken, OJ saw there were candles burning in Nicole’s house and she had music playing. He realized she was expecting a date.

[*] At this point, OJ says he was surprised by Ron Goldman’s sudden appearance through the back gate. Ron told him he was just returning Nicole’s mother’s glasses that she left at Mezzaluna where he was a waiter. Nicole came out of the house with her dog, who OJ remembers wagging it’s tail at Goldman — as if the dog was familiar with him because he had been there before — and that set him off.

[*] OJ and Nicole started screaming at each other, and she “came at me like a banshee” but “fell” against the stoop and hit her head on the ground, knocking her unconscious.

[*] When Goldman began doing some defensive martial arts moves, OJ remembers holding his knife… but his next memory is of “coming to” and realizing he was soaked in Ron and Nicole’s blood.

[*] While he claims to have blacked out the actual murders, he doesn’t deny committing them. Almost immediately he shifts to cover up mode, removing his blood-stained clothing and handing them off to his accomplice to dispose of, along with the murder weapon.

[*] Another detail — OJ recalls leaving his socks on as he removes the rest of his clothing because he didn’t see any blood on them. Is OJ’s imagination so great that an innocent man would make up such innocuous details to this story?

[*] After the murders, OJ was able to sneak into his house and shower before pretending he had overslept and catching his limo ride to the airport. At the airport, he recalls signing autographs.

tl;dr

I Did It seems like a likely confession by a misogynist and narcissist who believes he is the victim of wily women and a police department set on making an example out of him for (???) reasons. Besides the obvious question — why would a ‘110% not-guilty’ person write this? — his attitude toward Nicole and the men in her life and his constant victim seeking-status will convince most casual readers of his guilt. TC mark

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