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OJ Simpson, former football star acquitted of murder, dies at 76



OJ Simpson, former football star acquitted of murder, dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the previous soccer nice who was accused of and in the end acquitted of the brutal 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her good friend, has died, based on his household. He was 76.

“On April tenth, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with most cancers. He was surrounded by his youngsters and grandchildren. Throughout this time of transition, his household asks that you simply please respect their needs for privateness and style,” an announcement from his household mentioned.

In Could 2023, Simpson posted a video on X, then referred to as Twitter, revealing that he had just lately “caught most cancers” and “needed to do the entire chemo factor.” He added, “It seems like I beat it.” Simpson did not specify the character of the most cancers.

Then in February 2024, a Las Vegas tv station reported that Simpson was once more present process therapy for an unspecified most cancers. Simpson himself posted a video on X that day, denying rumors that he was in hospice care, although he didn’t in any other case affirm or deny studies that he was ailing. Two days later in one other video update on X, Simpson thanked these individuals he mentioned had reached out to him, including “My well being is sweet. I imply, clearly I am coping with some points however I believe I am nearly over it.”

Simpson, nicknamed “The Juice,” broke information as a university {and professional} soccer participant, and prolonged his celeb and fortune as a sportscaster, a film and tv actor, and as a company spokesman, most notably for Hertz rental automobiles.

O. J. Simpson (R) seems along with his lawyer Robert Shapiro in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket for his preliminary listening to in Los Angeles, June 30, 1994.

Newsbase/AP, FILE

All that modified on June 12, 1994, when Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her good friend, Ron Goldman, had been brutally stabbed to demise outdoors of her residence within the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. Inside days, police introduced their intention to arrest the previous soccer star for the murders.

5 days after the killings, 95 million People watched as Simpson’s white Ford Bronco – with longtime good friend Al Cowlings on the wheel and Simpson within the again seat with a handgun, threatening to kill himself – led police on a 60-mile, low-speed televised chase by Los Angeles that lasted some two hours.

Simpson in the end surrendered to police and stood trial for the murders. In October 1995, after 11 months from jury choice to verdict, Simpson was acquitted in a trial that was televised day by day and have become a global sensation.

Twelve years later, Simpson was arrested in September 2007 after he led a gaggle of males right into a Las Vegas lodge and on line casino to steal, at gunpoint, what he claims was his personal sports activities memorabilia. Simpson was charged with quite a lot of felony counts, together with kidnapping and armed theft. The next 12 months, he was discovered responsible and sentenced to as much as 33 years in jail. Simpson was launched on parole on Oct. 1, 2017.

Simpson is survived by 4 youngsters: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

Kato Kaelin, a houseguest of Simpson’s on the time of the homicide who turned a key witness throughout the trial, expressed his condolences Thursday to Simpson’s youngsters and his “love and compassion” to the households of Brown Simpson and Goldman.

“Nicole was a beacon of sunshine that burned vibrant. Could we always remember her,” he mentioned in a video assertion posted on X.

A soccer hero

Simpson was born on July 9, 1947, and raised in Potrero Hill, a low-income neighborhood close to San Francisco. His mom, Eunice, labored as an orderly at a psychiatric ward, and his father, Jimmy Lee, labored as a prepare dinner and custodian in a personal membership. When Simpson was only a toddler, his father left the household, leaving Simpson’s mom to lift and assist their 4 youngsters on her personal.

Regardless of being bow-legged and pigeon-toed from a bout with rickets in infancy, based on ESPN, Simpson developed a robust curiosity in sports activities as a baby. Within the spring of 1967, he enrolled on the College of Southern California in Los Angeles, and that very same 12 months he married his highschool sweetheart, Marguerite Whitley, with whom he ultimately had three youngsters.

PHOTO: O.J. Simpson #32 of the University of Southern California Trojans looks on from the sidelines during an NCAA college football game circa 1968.

O.J. Simpson #32 of the College of Southern California Trojans seems on from the sidelines throughout an NCAA faculty soccer recreation circa 1968.

Focus On Sport/Getty Pictures, FILE

Taking part in for USC as a operating again, Simpson quickly turned faculty soccer’s main rusher. By the point he left the varsity, he had set 13 faculty soccer information and had gained the 1968 Heisman Trophy.

The charismatic younger star athlete’s tv profession took off like a rocket. On the night time he gained the Heisman, Simpson signed a tv contract with ABC Sports activities. The next 12 months, Simpson was the primary decide within the 1969 draft, signing with the Buffalo Payments for a then-record $650,000, five-year contract. By 1973, Simpson had scored an NFL-record 23 touchdowns in a season. He additionally set probably the most speeding yards in a single recreation, with 250, and broke the file for probably the most speeding yards in a season, with 2,003.

PHOTO:  In this Oct. 10, 1976 file photo running back O.J. Simpson #32 of the Buffalo Bills carries the ball against the New York Jets during an NFL football game  at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City.

On this Oct. 10, 1976 file picture operating again O.J. Simpson #32 of the Buffalo Payments carries the ball towards the New York Jets throughout an NFL soccer recreation at Shea Stadium within the Queens borough of New York Metropolis.

Focus On Sport/Getty Pictures, FILE

Simpson’s soccer prowess made him a star off the sphere as effectively. In 1975, Hertz signed Simpson as the primary Black man employed for a significant nationwide company promoting marketing campaign, with soon-familiar commercials of him, smiling and clad in enterprise go well with, operating by airports and leaping over obstacles to get to his rental automobile. The success of the advert marketing campaign led different firms to signal endorsement contracts with Simpson, rising each his wealth and title recognition.

The Buffalo Payments traded Simpson to the San Francisco 49ers previous to the 1978 season, prompting him to maneuver along with his household to the West Coast, although after two seasons with the crew, bodily issues prompted Simpson to retire from professional soccer because the highest-paid participant within the NFL.

Simpson had acted throughout his professional soccer years, notably showing within the TV miniseries “Roots,” in addition to the movies “The Towering Inferno,” “Capricorn One” and others. Across the identical time he retired from the NFL, he created his personal manufacturing firm and dove into the leisure enterprise full time. He continued performing, together with as a daily within the “Bare Gun” movie comedy sequence, and likewise served as a TV soccer commentator.

Assembly Nicole Brown

Whereas nonetheless married to Marguerite, Simpson met Nicole Brown, then 18, whereas she labored as a nightclub waitress in Beverly Hills in 1977. It was the identical 12 months Simpson and Marguerite celebrated the arrival of their daughter, Aaren, and moved right into a Tudor-style mansion within the Brentwood neighborhood of LA. Two years later, tragedy struck when Aaren died within the swimming pool on the household residence. Round that very same time, Simpson and Marguerite finalized their divorce, and Nicole Brown moved in.

PHOTO: O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson pose at the premiere of the

O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson pose on the premiere of the “Bare Gun 33 1/3: The Closing Isult” by which O.J. starred on March 16, 1994 in Los Angeles.

Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Pictures, FILE

Simpson and Brown had been wed in 1985, a union that produced two youngsters. Nevertheless, the wedding was marred by accusations of Simpson’s bodily abuse of his spouse. Simpson was arrested in 1989 for beating her as he reportedly threatened to kill her. He pleaded no contest to the costs and was sentenced to probation, counseling and neighborhood service. Although the couple tried to reconcile, Nicole Brown Simpson filed for divorce, which was finalized in 1992.

‘Trial of the Century’

On the night time of June 12, 1994, after Brown Simpson and her household dined at certainly one of their favourite Los Angeles eating places, Mezzaluna, she returned to her condominium on Bundy Drive in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood, based on courtroom information. Later that night time, Ron Goldman, 25, a waiter at Mezzaluna, drove from the restaurant to Brown Simpson’s residence to return eyeglasses her mom had left on the restaurant that night time.

Round midnight, Brown Simpson and Goldman’s our bodies had been discovered stabbed to demise outdoors of her residence.

Simpson was in Los Angeles that night, based on courtroom information, however took a late flight that night time to Chicago. When he returned to Los Angeles the following day, he was interviewed by police however was not instantly arrested.

5 days after the murders, on June 17, 1994, prosecutors ordered Simpson to give up to be charged with Brown Simpson and Goldman’s deaths. He as a substitute fled within the Ford Bronco with Cowlings, main police on a slow-speed chase lasting some two hours that introduced Southern California freeways to a standstill and was televised reside, watched by an estimated 95 million People.

PHOTO: Motorists wave as police cars pursue the Ford Bronco (white, R) driven by Al Cowlings, carrying fugitive murder suspect O.J. Simpson, on a 90-minute slow-speed car chase June 17, 1994 on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles.

Motorists wave as police automobiles pursue the Ford Bronco (white, R) pushed by Al Cowlings, carrying fugitive homicide suspect O.J. Simpson, on a 90-minute slow-speed automobile chase June 17, 1994 on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles.

Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Pictures, FILE

Information helicopters hovered overhead, documenting the chase, and Angelinos raced from their houses and gathered alongside space highways and on overpasses to observe the extraordinary drama unfold in actual time. Simpson ultimately surrendered and was taken into custody. Throughout his arraignment, he pleaded “Completely, positively, 100% not responsible” to all costs.

Simpson’s 1995 televised trial, dubbed the “trial of the century,” was a global sensation, with the non-public lives of the contributors – together with witnesses, attorneys and the presiding decide – as a lot information because the trial itself, which sparked controversy and racial tensions from the time the jury was empaneled in November 1994, to the October 1995 studying of the decision.

PHOTO: O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angeles, Dec. 8, 1994.

O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court docket in Los Angeles, Dec. 8, 1994.

Pool/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Protection attorneys claimed Simpson had been wrongly accused of the murders, however prosecutors argued that Simpson was a controlling husband who abused Brown Simpson. Prosecutors additionally introduced blood from the crime scene present in Simpson’s automobile and residential, and the truth that he went unaccounted for greater than an hour on the night time of the murders.

One of the memorable moments of the trial got here when prosecutors requested Simpson to attempt on a pair of black leather-based gloves in entrance of the jury and a global tv viewers. One glove had been found on the crime scene and the second had been discovered at Simpson’s residence. The gloves did not seem to suit correctly, which the prosecution later attributed to shrinkage from their authentic dimension attributable to their having been soaked in blood. Regardless, when Simpson struggled to don the gloves, protection lawyer Johnnie Cochran issued the trial’s most memorable declaration throughout his closing argument: “If it does not match, you will need to acquit.”

PHOTO: O.J. Simpson tries on a leather glove allegedly used in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman during testimony in Simpson's murder trial June 15, 1995 in Los Angeles.

O.J. Simpson tries on a leather-based glove allegedly used within the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman throughout testimony in Simpson’s homicide trial June 15, 1995 in Los Angeles.

Lee Celano/WireImage by way of Getty Pictures, FILE

An unprecedented 150 million individuals watched on Oct. 3, 1995, as the decision was learn and Simpson was acquitted of the murders. Following his acquittal, Simpson publicly vowed to spend the remainder of his life looking for what he referred to as the “actual” killer or killers.

Regardless of the acquittal, Simpson quickly discovered himself shunned in a lot of his earlier social circles. His longtime brokers dropped him and plenty of firms not needed his endorsement. Simpson’s credibility and incomes energy disintegrated nearly in a single day. By 2000, Simpson had moved from Los Angeles to Miami, Florida.

Although he was acquitted of legal costs, the households of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman filed a civil go well with towards Simpson – the previous for battery, and the latter for battery and wrongful demise. Not like the legal trial, no cameras had been allowed in courtroom throughout the civil trial, which lasted simply over three months and resulted in February 1997 with the jury unanimously discovering Simpson liable as alleged.

PHOTO: Fred and Kim Goldman, father and sister of Ronald Goldman, appear in front of the media June 15, 1994 at their home in Agoura Hills, CA, following the murder of Ronald and O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson.

Fred and Kim Goldman, father and sister of Ronald Goldman, seem in entrance of the media June 15, 1994 at their residence in Agoura Hills, CA, following the homicide of Ronald and O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson.

Lee Celano/WireImage

Simpson was ordered to pay a complete of $21 million to the Goldman household and $12.5 million to the Brown household, for a complete of $33.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Regardless of years of efforts, the households had been solely in a position to gather from Simpson a fraction of the damages the jury awarded.

In 2006, a ghostwritten e book titled “If I Did It,” described by the writer as a “hypothetical” confession and mentioned to be primarily based on interviews with Simpson, was scheduled to be printed along side a TV particular that might additionally characteristic Simpson. The particular was canceled following widespread criticism, and the household of Ron Goldman – nonetheless pursuing the unpaid financial damages awarded them in Simpson’s civil trial – was awarded the rights to the e book, which they retitled and printed as “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.”

Goldman’s household mentioned in an announcement to ABC Information that Simpson’s demise “is a combined bag of difficult feelings and reminds us that the journey by grief will not be linear.”

“For 3 many years we tirelessly pursued justice for Ron and Nicole, and regardless of a civil judgment and his confession in ‘If I Did It,’ the hope for true accountability has ended,” his sister, Kim Goldman, and father, Fred Goldman, mentioned in a joint assertion.

“We’ll proceed to advocate for the rights of all victims and survivors, making certain our voices are heard each inside and past the courtroom,” the assertion continued. “And regardless of his demise, the mission continues; there’s all the time extra to be performed. Thanks for protecting our household, and most significantly Ron, in your hearts for the final 30 years.”

Conviction for theft and kidnapping

The night time of Sept. 13, 2007, Simpson led a gaggle of males – certainly one of whom was armed with a handgun – right into a Las Vegas lodge room to recuperate what Simpson claimed was sports activities memorabilia that had been stolen from him. He was arrested three days later and charged with 12 felony counts, together with kidnapping and armed theft. After a trial that lasted lower than a month, Simpson was discovered responsible of all costs on Oct. 3, 2008 – 13 years to the day after he was acquitted in his Los Angeles double homicide trial.

PHOTO: O.J. Simpson stands during sentencing at the Clark County Regional Justice Center, Dec. 5, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

O.J. Simpson stands throughout sentencing on the Clark County Regional Justice Heart, Dec. 5, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pool/Getty Pictures

“Earlier on this case, at a bail listening to, I … mentioned to Mr. Simpson [that] I did not know if he was smug or ignorant or each,” Clark County District Court docket Decide Jackie Glass mentioned throughout sentencing the next December. “Through the trial and thru this continuing, I bought this reply – and it was each.”

Simpson was sentenced to as much as 33 years in jail.

A free man

In July 2017, Simpson was granted parole. Simpson sought to reassure the parole board that he would achieve success in assembly the circumstances of his parole.

“I am not a man who lived a legal life,” he mentioned. “I used to be all the time a great man, however may have been a greater Christian, and my dedication to vary is to be a greater Christian.”

“I had some issues with constancy in my life, however I’ve all the time been a man that just about bought together with everyone,” Simpson added.

PHOTO: O.J. Simpson (C) reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center July 20, 2017 in Lovelock, Nev.

O.J. Simpson (C) reacts after studying he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Heart July 20, 2017 in Lovelock, Nev.

Jason Bean-Pool/Getty Pictures, FILE

On Oct. 1, 2017, 70-year-old Simpson walked out of Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Institute as a free man. He moved from Miami to Las Vegas and commenced a life-style centered on golf, mates and common posts to social media.

Within the 1994 letter Simpson’s attorneys learn to the nation whereas the previous soccer star fled police throughout the Bronco chase, Simpson expressed satisfaction with the life he’d lived till that time.

“I’ve had a great life. I am happy with how I lived. My mama taught me to do unto others. I handled individuals the way in which I needed to be handled,” Simpson wrote, based on his attorneys.

“Do not feel sorry for me,” the letter went on. “I’ve had an amazing life, nice mates. Please consider the actual O.J. and never this misplaced particular person. … Thanks for making my life particular. I hope I helped yours.”

-ABC Information Sheila Marikar and Christopher Watson contributed to this report.

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