O.J. Simpson's "hypothetical" confession is going viral, with a new Fox program airing previously unseen footage in which the former NFL star appeared to give details about the brutal murder of his wife.
But while the interview is generating quite a bit of attention, it is also creating new controversy about how he reportedly made millions of dollars from imagining how he committed the brutal and officially unsolved slayings.
The program, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession, highlights a 2006 interview in which Simpson tells how he "hypothetically" killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, the Sporting News reported. The program includes analysis from former Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden and follows a popular trend of rehashing Simpson's trial and ultimate acquittal for the double slaying.
The FX series American Crime Story featured the trial in its 2016 season with The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which featured the investigation and trial that captivated the nation in 1995. The show earned 22 Emmy nominations, growing especially popular ahead of Simpson's 2017 release from prison.
The newly aired "hypothetical" confession from O.J. Simpson is not the first time he has allegedly admitted to the murders. Publisher Judith Regan claimed that she received a phone call from Simpson's lawyer in which he confessed to the murders, TMZ reported. Regan was writing the book If I Did It, and the interview at the center of O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession was recorded to promote the book.
There was quite a bit of controversy around the time the interview was filmed, and it was ultimately shelved, with E! News reporting that network executives saw it as an impossible sell to advertisers at the time. There was also the legal complication of whether the family of Ron Goldman, which had won a $33.5 million judgment against Simpson for Ron's murder, would be entitled to some of the revenue from the program.
As Vanity Fair noted at the time, the confession interview netted O.J. Simpson $3.5 million, paid by Regan in a way that the Goldman family would be unable to access the money. This payment drew considerable controversy at the time, and Regan was ultimately fired. But the payment is again generating controversy as critics see it as sensationalizing the murders and allowing Simpson to continue to profit from it.