Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson (born July 9, 1947), who has also been called The Juice, is a retired American football player, actor, spokesman, and convicted felon, who was accused of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994. He originally attained stardom as a running back at the collegiate and professional levels, and was the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Simpson's rushing mark was set during the 1973 season.
Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Simpson and Goldman after a lengthy, highly publicized criminal trial. In 1997, a default judgment against Simpson was awarded for their wrongful deaths in civil court by a jury, but to date he has paid little of the $33.5 million judgment. He gained further notoriety in late 2006 when he wrote a book titled If I Did It. The book, which purports to be a first-person fictional account of the murder had he actually committed it, was withdrawn by the publisher just before its release. The book was later released by the Goldman family and the title of the book was expanded to If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer (ISBN 978-0825305887).
In September 2007, Simpson faced more legal troubles as he was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada and subsequently charged with numerous felonies, including robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon (which carries possible life sentence), coercion with use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit a crime. He was found guilty of all charges on October 3, 2008. He is currently being held in isolation from other prisoners at the Clark County Detention Center as he awaits a December 5, 2008 sentencing.
At Galileo High School in San Francisco, Simpson played for the school football team, the Galileo Lions. From 1965 to 1966, Simpson was a student at City College of San Francisco, a member of the California Community College system. He played both offense (running back) and defense (defensive back) and was named to the Junior College All-American team as a running back.
In 1967, he starred in the 1967 USC vs. UCLA football game and was a Heisman Trophy candidate, but he did not win the award. His 64 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter tied the game, with the PAT the margin of victory. This was the biggest play in what is regarded as one of the greatest football games of the 20th century.
Another dramatic touchdown in the same game is the subject of the Arnold Friberg oil painting, O.J. Simpson Breaks for Daylight. Simpson also won the Walter Camp Award in 1967 and was a two-time consensus All-American. He ran in the USC sprint relay quartet that broke the world record at the NCAA track championships in Provo, Utah in June 1967.
In 1968, he rushed for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns, earning the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Award that year. He still holds the record for the Heisman's largest margin of victory, defeating the runner-up by 1,750 points. In the 1969 Rose Bowl where #2 USC faced #1 Ohio State, Simpson threw a costly interception and fumbled the ball in a 16-27 loss in his final college game.
Simpson was drafted by the AFL's Buffalo Bills, who got first pick in the 1969 draft after finishing 1-12-1 in 1968. Early in his NFL career, Simpson struggled on poor Buffalo teams, averaging only 622 yards per season for his first three.
He first rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1972, gaining a total of 1,251. In 1973, Simpson rushed for a record 2,003 yards, becoming the first player ever to pass the 2,000-yard mark, and scored 12 touchdowns. Simpson gained more than 1,000 rushing yards for each of his next three seasons.
Simpson's 1977 season in Buffalo was cut short by injury. Before the 1978 season, the Bills traded Simpson to the San Francisco 49ers for a second round draft pick, where he played two unremarkable seasons.
Simpson gained 11,236 rushing yards, placing him 2nd on the NFL's all-time rushing list; he now stands at 16th. He was named NFL Player of the Year in 1973, and played in six Pro Bowls. Simpson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, his first year of eligibility.
Even before his retirement from football and in the NFL, Simpson embarked on a successful film career with parts in films such as the television mini-series Roots, and the dramatic motion pictures The Cassandra Crossing, Capricorn One, The Klansman, The Towering Inferno, and the comedic Back to the Beach and The Naked Gun trilogy. In 1979, he started his own film production company, Orenthal Productions, which dealt mostly in made-for-TV fare such as the family-oriented Goldie and the Boxer films with Melissa Michaelsen and Cocaine and Blue Eyes, the pilot for a proposed detective series on NBC.
Simpson's amiable persona and natural charisma landed him numerous endorsement deals. He was a spokesman for the Hertz rental car company. He would be depicted running through airports, as if to suggest he was back on the football field. Simpson was also a longtime spokesman for Pioneer Chicken and owned two franchises, one of which was destroyed during the LA riots, as well as Honeybaked Hams, the pX Corporation, the Calistoga Water Company's line of Napa Naturals soft drinks, and he appeared in comic book ads for Dingo cowboy boots.
On February 2, 1985, Simpson married Nicole Brown. They had two children, Sydney Brooke Simpson (born October 17, 1985) and Justin Ryan Simpson (born August 6, 1988), and were divorced in 1992.
Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman were murdered on June 12, 1994. Simpson was charged in their deaths and subsequently acquitted of all criminal charges in a controversial criminal trial. In the unanimous jury findings of a civil court case in February 1997, Simpson was found liable for the wrongful death of Ronald Goldman and battery of Nicole Brown.
A 2000 Rolling Stone article reported that Simpson still made a significant income by signing autographs. He subsequently moved from California to Miami, Florida. In Florida, a person's residence cannot be seized to collect a debt under most circumstances. The Goldman family also tried to collect Simpson's NFL pension of $22,000 a month but failed to collect any money.
On September 5, 2006, Goldman's father took Simpson back to court to obtain control over his "right t=o publicity" for purposes of satisfying the judgment in the civil court case. On January 4, 2007, a Federal judge issued a restraining order prohibiting Simpson from spending any advance he may have received on a canceled TV and book deal. The matter was dismissed before trial for lack of jurisdiction. On January 19, 2007, a California state judge issued an additional restraining order, ordering Simpson to restrict his spending to "ordinary and necessary living expenses".
On March 13, 2007, a judge prevented Simpson from receiving any further compensation from a canceled book deal and TV interview. He ordered the bundled book rights to be auctioned. In August 2007, a Florida bankruptcy court awarded the rights to the book to the Goldman family to partially satisfy an unpaid civil judgment. The book was renamed If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer, and comments were added to the original manuscript by the Goldman family, author Pablo Fenjves, and prominent investigative journalist Dominick Dunne.
Two days later, however, Simpson was arrested and initially held without bail. Along with three other men, Simpson was charged with multiple felony counts, including criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, assault, robbery, and using a deadly weapon. Bail was set at US$125,000, with stipulations that Simpson have no contact with the co-defendants and that Simpson must surrender his passport. Simpson did not enter a plea.
By the end of October 2007, all three of Simpson's co-defendants had plea bargained with the Clark County court. Walter Alexander and Charles H. Cashmore accepted plea agreements in exchange for reduced charges and his testimony against Simpson and three other co-defendants, including testifying that guns were used in the robbery. Co-defendant Michael McClinton told a Las Vegas judge that he too would plead guilty to reduced charges and testify against Simpson that guns were used in the robbery. After the hearings, the judge ordered that Simpson be tried for the heist.
Simpson's preliminary hearing, to decide whether he would be tried for the charges, occurred on November 8, 2007. He was held over for trial on all 12 counts. Simpson pleaded not guilty on November 29. Court officers and attorneys announced on May 22, 2008, that long questionnaires with at least 115 queries would be given to a jury pool of 400 or more. Trial was reset from April to September 8, 2008.
In January 2008, Simpson was taken into custody in Florida and flown to Las Vegas where he was jailed for allegedly violating the terms of his bail by attempting to contact Clarence "C.J." Stewart, a co-defendant in the trial. District Attorney David Roger of Clark County, provided District Court Judge Jackie Glass with data that Simpson had violated terms of bail. The hearing on this bail issue was on January 16, 2008. Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass raised Simpson's bail to US$250,000 and ordered that he remain in jail until 15 percent of the bail, in cash, was paid. Simpson posted bond that evening and returned to Miami the next day.
Simpson and his co-defendant were found guilty of all charges on October 3, 2008. Sentencing for Simpson and Stewart was set for December 5, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. PST. The kidnapping charge carries a possible life sentence with parole, and the robbery convictions carry mandatory prison time. He could face more than 60 years imprisonment.
On October 10, 2008, O. J. Simpson counsels moved for new trial (trial de novo) on grounds of judicial errors (2 African-Americans black jurors were dismissed) and insufficient evidence. Galanter announced he would appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court if Judge Glass denies the motion. The attorney for Simpson co-defendant, C.J. Stewart, petitioned for a new trial, alleging Stewart should have been tried separately, and cited perceived misconduct by the jury foreman, Paul Connelly.
In March 2004, satellite television network DirecTV, Inc. accused Simpson in a Miami federal court of using illegal electronic devices to pirate its broadcast signals. The company later won a US$25,000 judgment, and Simpson was ordered to pay US$33,678 in attorney's fees and costs.
|1968||Ironside||Onlooker - uncredited||TV Episode - "Price Tag Death"|
|1969||Medical Center||Bru Wiley||TV Episode "The Last 10 Yards"|
|1972||Cade's County||Jeff Hughes||TV Episode "Blackout"|
|Here's Lucy||Himself||(TV series) episode "The Big Game"|
|O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose||Himself||TV|
|The Towering Inferno||Jernigan|
|1976||The Cassandra Crossing||Haley|
|1977||A Killing Affair||Woodrow York||TV|
|1978||Capricorn One||Cmdr. John Walker|
|Goldie and the Boxer||Joe Gallagher||TV (executive producer)|
|1980||Detour to Terror||Lee Hayes||TV (executive producer)|
|1981||Goldie and the Boxer Go to Hollywood||Joe Gallagher||TV (executive producer)|
|1983||Cocaine and Blue Eyes||Michael Brennen||TV (executive producer)|
|1984||Hambone and Hillie||Tucker|
|1985-1991||1st & Ten||T.D. Parker||Five episodes|
|1987||Back to the Beach||Man at Airport||Uncredited|
|1988||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Detective Nordberg|
|1989||In the Heat of the Night||Councilman Lawson Stiles||TV episode "Walkout"|
|1991||The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear||Detective Nordberg|
|1993||CIA Code Name: Alexa||Nick Murphy|
|No Place to Hide||Allie Wheeler|
|1994||Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult||Detective Nordberg|
|2006||Juiced with O. J. Simpson||Himself||TV pay-per-view|
|Awards and achievements|