The ratings aren’t quite in yet for Fox’s programming special, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession, but based on social media reaction, the network may have reached a new low in a way that has nothing to do with numbers. Pitted against ABC’s American Idol reboot, Simpson’s 12-year-old interview with Judith Regan featured the disgraced football legend talking about the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman—”hypothetically,” of course.
According to Fox News, social media went into a frenzy as O.J.’s retelling of the events aired. The hashtag “#DidOJConfess” was trending on Twitter throughout the broadcast. While Simpson reiterated that his story was “hypothetical,” he later slipped into the first person as he recounted his recollection of the night of the murders.
After the “Trial of the Century,” O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1995. In 2006, Simpson sat down with Regan for an interview to coincide with his book If I Did It, which was pegged as a hypothetical account of the murders. The TV project was later shelved due to public outrage, but 12 years later Fox unearthed it just in time to go head-to-head with the Idol revival.
Twitter reacted fiercely to The Lost Confession special, calling out everything from O.J.’s switchover into the first person to Christopher Darden’s oversized tie. But if you couldn’t stomach actually watching two hours worth of hyped-up hypotheticals, here is what you missed as O.J. Simpson recounted the horrific events of June 12, 1994.
O.J. and Nicole’s unconventional courtship
Before getting to the night of the murders, O.J. gave a recap of his backstory with Nicole. The former football great revealed that he met his future wife at the Daisy, where she worked as a waitress. According to Simpson, he met Nicole the day after he and his wife, Marguerite, decided to end their marriage. O.J. also chuckled about his attempts to “get some” from Nicole and said it was she who badgered him to get married after he repeatedly said he didn’t want marriage or more kids. Simpson also talked about extramarital flings by both parties, and when his history of spousal abuse was brought up—in 1989 O.J. was convicted of spousal abuse after beating Brown—he said it “hurt” him to be thought of as a wife beater.
“The one thing that hurts me as much as anything in this — aside from being considered a murderer — is being a batterer,” O.J. said. “Somehow, I came out of all of that because of that night as the poster boy of an abuser.”
An accomplice named Charlie
O.J. went into even more bizarre territory when describing the night of June 12. In his hypothetical retelling, O.J. Simpson said he went to Nicole’s house with a man named Charlie. O.J. admitted he always kept a knife in his car “for the crazies because you can’t have a gun.” Once at his ex-wife’s house, O.J. claimed he ran into Ron Goldman, a man he didn’t know. He also said Nicole fell and hurt herself. According to Simpson, his pal Charlie followed him in with the knife just as Goldman “kind of got into a karate thing.” Simpson said he challenged Goldman to kick his “a**” and that he then took the knife from Charlie. Simpson claims he doesn’t remember what happened after that.
“I do remember that portion, taking the knife from Charlie. And to be honest, after that, I don’t remember. Except I’m standing there and there’s all kinds of stuff around…Blood, and stuff around. I hate to say it, but this is hypothetical.”
O.J. also said he had “no conscious memory” of putting on a glove, but admitted that he must have worn one because it was later found on the property. Simpson also said Charlie started screaming and saying they had to get out of there.
“He was in a panic, and I’m telling him, ‘Shut up, let’s get out of here.’ It was horrible. It was absolutely horrible.”
According to USA Today, in the book If I Did It, Simpson wrote about Charlie, describing him as someone he met shortly before the night of the murders. Simpson alleged that Charlie came to his house on the night of June 12 and told him stories about Nicole’s wild partying. Simpson said Charlie encouraged him to go to Nicole’s house to “scare” her.
Chris calls out Kanye
The special, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, included commentary by Judith Regan, former prosecutor Christopher Darden, and more. Darden did not hide his disgust at seeing the previously unaired footage, and he called out a high-profile rapper for seemingly supporting Simpson years later.
Fourteen years after the murders, O.J. Simpson was sentenced to jail after being convicted in an armed robbery attempt. Simpson was released on parole last fall after serving nine years in a Nevada prison. But Christopher Darden questioned how someone as influential as Kanye West could wear a “Free O.J.” t-shirt when the former football star was doing his jail time. West is married to Kim Kardashian, the daughter of onetime Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian. Followers of the Simpson trial may recall Robert Kardashian’s 1996 ABC News interview with Barbara Walters in which he admitted he doubted O.J.’s innocence due to all of the evidence and Simpson’s failed polygraph test.
“I have doubts,” Kardashian told Walters in 1996. “I wake up in the middle of the night. I’m so conflicted because of that blood evidence.”
Darden said he couldn’t believe it when he saw Kanye West on TV wearing the “Free O.J.” t-shirt in 2016.
“You freed him,” Darden said. “And look at what you freed.”
You can see a chilling clip from O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession below.