O.J. Simpson pauses from describing the moments before his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were murdered. He shakes his head and looks away from the camera, bringing a hand up to his forehead.
“I really can’t do more of this,” he says, repeatedly, as he approaches the more gruesome details of what happened that night.
Simpson was speaking to Judith Regan in a 2006 interview that Fox said was “lost” on the network’s lot and will be the subject of a Fox special, “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” During the discussion, Simpson gives what the network describes as a “hypothetical account” and “disturbing” details about the night of the slayings.
Fox hosted a screening of the 45-minute-long interview portion of the special for the press Thursday morning. The program will air on Sunday, against ABC’s reboot of “American Idol.”
The special, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, will include input by a panel of analysts, including Chris Darden, one of Simpson’s prosecutors in his criminal trial and a friend of Brown Smith’s. Public service announcements about domestic violence awareness will run throughout the program.
Regan begins the 2006 interview by asking about Simpson’s book “If I Did It,” which Simpson said he wrote primarily for financial reasons, because his National Football League pension wasn’t enough to cover his expenses.
Several times throughout the interview he described Brown Simpson: she was insecure about her weight, wore tight dresses, got plastic surgeries and was a confrontational person, he said.
Simpson remained conversational, without much reserve throughout the interview, but when the topic of discussion neared the night his ex-wife was brutally murdered, Simpson’s demeanor shifted, his responses became terse and he refused to answer some questions.
“I prefer you read the book,” for those parts, he said.
With some pressing, Simpson conceded he did at some point take a knife from his friend, Charlie, to confront a man that was outside Brown Simpson’s home. And he must have taken off a glove, though he doesn’t remember.
There was a lot of blood, as there would be if anyone was murdered that way, he said, and he had trouble wrapping his mind around what happened that night.
Simpson was found not guilty in his criminal trial, but was later found liable for both murders after the Brown and Goldman families sued him in civil court. The former NFL football star was ordered to pay $33.5 million in restitution to the victims’ families. In 2007, he was found guilty of kidnapping and stealing sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel and sentenced up to 33 years in prison. He was released on parole in October.
Simpson has been the subject of continuing fascination. The so-called “trial of the century” was the subject of the popular FX limited series “The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” and the Oscar-winning ESPN documentary, “O.J: Made in America.”
Both the Brown and Goldman families were supportive of the project and Simpson is not profiting from the program, a source close to the production said. The network also donated $100,000 to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.