The trial of Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, has captivated the country. Anthony’s surprising acquittal Tuesday has sparked a national outcry, reminding many of O.J. Simpson’s 1995 “Trial of the Century.” Where are the major players in the Simpson saga now? We examine.
A villain for many years after his trial who left Southern California for Miami, Simpson currently is serving 33 years for armed robbery in a Lovelock, NV prison after being convicted in 2008. The former Heisman Trophy winner at USC and NFL star led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel-casino and stole his own sports memorabilia at gunpoint. Many people jokingly dubbed the conviction a “make-up call” after many believed Simpson got away with murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. It was rumored recently that Simpson is willing to give Oprah an exclusive confession, but Oprah has denied it. But if anyone can finally put an end to America’s longest running criminal drama, we’re sure it’s Oprah.
Cochran became a pop-culture icon before passing away from brain cancer in March 2005 at the age of 67. His skills as a slick lawyer were so admired that “Call Johnny Cochran” became a catchphrase. Of course, he had his own one-liners during Simpson’s trial. “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” was the most memorable line of the case. And ultimately, the jury did acquit Simpson, who has Cochran to thank as his lead counsel.
A 59-year-old Kardashian died of cancer in 2003. He was a friend and member of Simpson’s “Dream Team” of lawyers and infamously said in 1996 that he had doubts about Simpson’s innocence. Now, his family is famous for their reality show and other ventures. His daughter, Khloe Kardashian, is married to former Rhode Island star and current Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom. Her sister, Kim Kardashian, is engaged to former Minnesota forward Kris Humphries, who is currently with the New Jersey Nets.
F. Lee Bailey
You know the Simpson case was big if Bailey could make a name off it since he already was known for representing high-profile clients like the Boston Strangler. But Bailey has seen his own controversy since the trial. He was disbarred in Florida and Massachusetts in 2001. According to ESPN.com, he “mishandled” $21 million in stocks of a former client. In January 2011, he said that he has new evidence that Simpson was innocent and blamed Cochran for not using it. Hey, F. Lee, you know he was acquitted, right?
Brian “Kato” Kaelin
Everyone’s favorite house guest still is toiling as an actor. He appeared in the three National Lampoon’s pay-per-view strip poker programs in 2005. Most recently, he was in 2011′s “Panman,” according to his IMDB page. But he’s still most famous for being the guy who lived with O.J. That’s why he still appears on television as himself, as he did in a 2009 episode of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0.”
The bumbling Los Angeles detective who was deemed a racist at the time has been an analyst for FOX News and successful author. He has written “Murder in Brentwood,” “Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?” and “Silent Witness: A Forensic Investigation of Terri Schiavo’s Death.” But his most recent work, “The Murder Business: How the Media Turns Crime into Entertainment and Subverts Justice,” talks about cases like Simpson’s and Anthony’s that have been given disproportionate attention, turns participants into celebrities and gives them other careers. You know, like it has for Fuhrman.
Clark, the lead prosecutor in Simpson’s case, ended her career in special trials after the Simpson verdict came down. She immediately moved to the suburbs and, according to The Guardian, settled in to a “normal” life with her children. Now, she has returned to her former world, but only in the fictional realm. In 2011, Clark authored the book “Guilt By Association,” a novel which follows a fictional special trials prosecutor. Clark certainly is qualified to tell the tale. She also just penned a column for the Daily Beast saying Anthony’s acquittal is (gasp!) worse than O.J.’s.
Judge Ito was saddled with much of the blame for a verdict many disagree with to this day. Cochran and Simpson’s defense team were appeased by Ito, who previously had a reputation as a judge who wouldn’t be affected by the public nature of the trial. It’s up for debate whether he was or not, but it’s clear that it didn’t detour him from his profession. Ito still hears felony criminal cases in Los Angeles to this day.
Darden also left his job as a Los Angles County District Attorney after 15 years when the Simpson case was over. During it, he gained fame for asking Simpson to try on the gloves that were once soaked in blood. When they didn’t fit, Darden was flooded with criticism. But Darden hasn’t let the trial define his life and career. He went on to teach law at UCLA and Southwestern University and open up his own practice, Darden and Associates. He also has been a frequent guest on NBC, CNN and FOX News.
Greta Van Susteren
A former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, Van Susteren has made her mark on television. She was omnipresent during the Simpson trial as a legal analyst for CNN, for which she then co-hosted “Burden of Proof” with Roger Cossack. Now, she’s a star on FOX News, where she hosts “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” a successful current affairs show.
Cossack is still examining the legal woes of sports stars, now for ESPN. He has analyzed everything from rape allegations against Kobe Bryant to steroid investigations by the government. His coverage of the Simpson trial for CNN certainly helped raise his profile. He stayed at CNN from 1994-2002.
Al “A.C.” Cowlings
It has been a strange existence for Cowlings, 64, who is best known for leading police on a low-speed chase with Simpson, his longtime friend, in Simpson’s white Ford Bronco. The chase played out on national TV during Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals. Since then, the former USC and NFL defensive tackle has dated a porn star (Jennifer Peace), worked as a handbag salesman and filed for bankruptcy in 2004. As of 2010, he was living in Malibu, CA. Who knows what he will get into next?
The sister of the slain Nicole Brown Simpson, Denise Brown has been an activist against domestic violence. She founded the Elite Speakers Bureau, which helps spread the word and educate others on this form of violence that can turn deadly. According to most reports, she hasn’t seen or spoken to O.J. since he was found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil trial.
Just 8-years old when her mother was murdered, Sydney attended Boston University and is now 25. In 2005, she had a run-in with Miami police that led to a resisting arrest charge and 50 hours of community service. A December 2010 story in the National Enquirer reported that Sydney had finally forgiven O.J. for allegedly murdering Nicole and planned to visit him in jail (take that story with a grain of salt). She currently resides in Atlanta and, according to internet reports, works for a catering company.
A former star athlete at Miami’s Gulliver Prep who played running back like his dad, the younger Simpson didn’t play college football while attending Florida State. About to turn 23, it is unclear whether Justin is still enrolled at FSU but the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported last December that the younger Simpson travels back and forth to O.J.’s former home outside Miami.
It may not have been a person but it was certainly a lead character in this drama. After the civil trial, the Bronco was purchased for $75,000 – nearly twice the original value – by a Los Angeles collector named Michael Pulwer. We know: “Only in L.A.”