When FX airs American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson on February 2, it will no doubt grab the attention of viewers across the nation, as those old enough will recall the trial of the century like it happened just yesterday. But did the show get the facts straight? According to some, it didn’t.
Brian “Kato” Kaelin was a key witness in the O.J. Simpson trial when the former NFL star was accused of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Kaelin, who was portrayed as a slacker then and now, recently sat down for an interview with the New York Daily News and gave his take on Episode 1. He claims the show teeters from the truth in many ways and worries that if the show can’t get the facts straight in the early episodes, then how much leeway will the series take later on?
Perhaps Kato’s biggest complaint was in one scene where he is shown eating a hamburger, but he says that never happened.
“Billy Magnussen, who portrays me, is eating a hamburger and O.J. asked about his love for burgers, which hints to an alibi. In real life, I stopped eating red meat in 1983. Perhaps a small detail to some of you, but it makes me wonder if they can’t get the facts right, how much creative license will the series take on other parts of the story that can’t be corroborated.”
Here’s Kaelin’s take on what really happened in another scene the show portrays.
“[T]he program shows the limo driver waiting on the curb to take OJ to the airport, with the driver loading luggage. The car was actually in the driveway and I was there talking to the driver. An important part of my testimony included how O.J. told me not to touch a bag that I had tried to help load. A bag that to this day, has never been found.”
According to Kato, American Crime Story goes on to show three police officers knocking on his door, where he says there was actually four officers. The show then has Kato showing the three officers around to the back of house where the infamous bloody glove was found, but Kato says that never happened. He says he told the cops about the loud thump coming from the back wall but dismissed it as an earthquake.
Kato continues in the interview, stating that a scene where the show depicts him jogging by the beach with a friend while receiving all kinds of attention from women from his instant celebrity status only to be insulted by another person is also incorrect.
“What they got wrong: I was an avid runner in those days-10 miles a day, but always alone, it was my escape. What they got right-I did receive a lot of attention, and not all of it was good. The notoriety had its highs and lows.”
Meanwhile, with a star-studded cast that includes John Travolta as lawyer Robert Shapiro and Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, viewers everywhere can have their appetite for the truth satisfied much like the frenzy that surrounded the original O.J. trial. This time, however, everyone knows the eventual outcome, although getting there still might not be the “truth” — just ask Kato.
“The media didn’t always get it right then-and I don’t expect the ‘mini-series of the century’ to get it all right now. But no matter who tells the story-one thing will always remain true: The only winners when it comes to the O.J. story — are the TV networks. I’ll be watching.”
Kaelin was staying in a guest house on Simpson’s property and was home the night of the two murders on June 12, 1994. He was used in the trial of O.J. as a witness for the prosecution.
American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson starts February 2 on FX.
Tell us! What do you think about the inconsistencies in American Crime Story brought up by Kato Kaelin? Let us know in the comments and check out a preview for the miniseries below.
[Image via FX]