March 9, 2018 / 1:09 AM / 15 days ago

TV special to show 'charismatic' but 'manic' O.J. Simpson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The O.J. Simpson double murder case returns to U.S. television on Sunday with a 2006 interview that producers say will give viewers an unprecedented glimpse into the mind of the former football star.

O.J. Simpson reacts during his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada, U.S., July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Bean/Pool

More than twenty years after his 1995 acquittal for the murder of his ex-wife and a friend, Fox television is airing a two-hour special on Sunday called “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?”

The show will broadcast for the first time a lengthy 2006 video interview with Simpson in which he talks about his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson and gives a hypothetical account of events on the night in June 1994 when she and her friend Ron Goldman were murdered at her Los Angeles home.

Simpson’s 13-month trial and acquittal still captivates Americans and was the subject of an award-winning 2016 TV series and a documentary.

“We’re taking you into the mind of O.J. Simpson, where nobody has ever been, at least on television,” Fox executive producer Terence Wrong told reporters on Thursday.

Wrong called the tapes, which also include Simpson’s account of how he broke news of their mother’s death to his two children, “riveting television.”

“He sucks you in, O.J. He is charismatic and charming but at the same time there is something a little manic and a little disturbing,” Wrong added.

Simpson, 70, was released from prison in November 2017 after serving nine years for an unrelated botched robbery in Las Vegas.

He currently lives in Las Vegas and his attorney did not return a call for comment on the program. Nicole Brown-Simpson’s family could not be reached for comment, but Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, said the family welcomed the airing of the tapes.

“While justice has eluded our family, Fox Entertainment enables everyone to make their own judgment,” Goldman said in a statement.

The tapes formed the basis of a book called “If I Did It” that was scrapped before publication in 2006 after an outcry from booksellers and relatives of the two victims.

At the time, Simpson said a chapter in which he gave an account of how he might have killed Goldman and Brown Simpson was purely hypothetical.

Wrong said Sunday’s program was not aimed at uncovering new evidence but was a contribution to the Simpson story.

“This case is part of the social history of the United States for better or worse. It delves into issues of celebrity, privilege, domestic violence, race, inter-racial marriage,” he said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Chris Reese

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