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O.J. Simpson: 10 years later

In his first primetime interview at the 10-year anniversary of the murders, O.J. Simpson speaks with NBC's Katie Couric about his life, his family, and the case that became an American obsession.
O.J. Simpson talks with NBC's Katie Couric.
O.J. Simpson talks with NBC's Katie Couric.NBC News
/ Source: Dateline NBC

Couric: “Before we begin, OJ, I want to point out you are here with your attorney, Yale Galanter, who requested to be present during this interview. I want to start by asking you about your children because I know many people want to know how they're doing. Sidney is 18 now. She graduated from high school this week.

Simpson: “Yes.”

Couric: “Tell us about her.”

Simpson: “Well, she's terrific. You know, gets somewhat emotional at times.  But bright as all get-out. She was accepted at virtually every school she applied to.  And she picked a real fine, you know, northeastern university to attend. So–"

Couric: “You don't want to say which?”

Simpson: “No. I'm sure the tabloids will write about it or whatever. In any event, it's an excellent school. A little too expensive [laughter] but in any event, so she's excited about that. Last night we had a dinner and all her loved ones were in town. Unfortunately, because of health reasons, Lou and Judy Brown weren't able to attend. But they're the only ones that didn't come in that she really cares about. And so we had a little celebration last night. And she's just -- I couldn't be more proud of her.”

Couric: “So, they didn't come to her graduation at all?”

Simpson: “No, no, only because it was a health problem situation. You know, Lou and Judy have been very helpful to me over the years. You know, daughters are so emotional. Sons, they do dumb things. I've done enough dumb things in my life that I can deal with that. Daughters are emotional. So, I've had to rely on Judy's advice and along with my sister and her big sister, Arnelle. But I never hesitate. And Judy's always available to help me, you know, deal with those emotional issues.”

Couric: “I'm going to ask you a little bit more about your relationship with the Browns later. But first, let me ask you about Justin. He is 15-years-old now.

Simpson: “Yeah, he's, well, in the summer, he'll be 16 this summer. He's taller than I am.  And he is -- I've often said he's the finest kid I've ever known. He really is. He is well-liked. He participates at his school in all sports: lacrosse, basketball, football.”

Couric: “I understand he is quite a football player.”

Simpson: “Yeah, yeah.”

Couric: “Is that true?”

Simpson: “Well, you know, football, because of the way he's been growing, they've never been able to really find a position. One year he's a running back.  Next year he's a linebacker. Then, see, I don't think his heart is in the football that much. I wouldn't be surprised if he decides in the near future that he wants to focus more in the summer going to lacrosse camp or basketball camp. Those two sports seem to be sports that he really loves. And he's a terrific honors student. And he's just-- he's a terrific kid.”

Couric: “Their mother was murdered 10 years ago.”

Simpson: “Yes.”

Couric: “What has their childhood been like? Has it been possible for them to have a normal childhood given all they've been through?”

Simpson: “Well, it's as normal as I've ever known a kid to have. You know, they go to school. They have tons of friends. My house seems to be the meeting place for their group of friends. They're both kids, they're happy kids. They're, once again, very active as we've said in school activities. And Friday night, Saturday night, I tend to have to leave [laughter] because there's so many kids at the house. I find myself in my bedroom or I have to go out, right? So, that I'm not in the way I guess. So, I would say, you know, there's times like this last month, for instance, you know, because of this tenth year you have the paparazzi and the media coming around the house. The other day I was in an intersection. I saw my daughter just whiz by, doing a yellow light. But I thought was a friend whizzed by through a red light. So, I called her immediately and said, ‘What are you guys doing?"’ And she said she was being pursued by some guy with cameras. And you know, I reminded her of Princess Diana and said, ‘Sweetheart, don't worry about it.  If you see a police officer, pull over. Tell him this guy is stalking you. But don't try to get away from these guys. Don't try to rush and get away from them.’ You know?  But outside of that, everything has been pretty cool. Everywhere we go, people are terrific. And we really haven't had, in the last five or six years, any real significant incident outside the home.”

Couric: “When children lose a parent, I think memories often fade. How do you keep Nicole's memory alive for your children?”

Simpson: Well, Nicole will come up in conversations where it's in a part of the conversation. Or we may be somewhere and I would tell some story about their mother and I. You know, we always honor her birthday. And it's generally, you know, kids don't look back. Like you say, memories may fade. Kids tend to look forward. And my kids, you know, you don't know psychologically what might surface years from now. But at this point, they both seem to have handled it pretty well. They do have friends who are without a parent, who have one-parent households by death. So, it's not as if they feel as if they're, you know, isolated and feel different than all their other friends.

Couric: “What do they believe happened to their mother?”

Simpson: “Something we've never really spoke about.”

Couric: “Never?”

Simpson: “Never.”

Couric: “In 10 years, the subject of their mother's death, her murder has never come up ever?”

Simpson: “Never, ever. And as I said, I think I've certainly spent enough money to get the advice of some of the best child psychologists and psychiatrists in the country. And they all say when the kids are ready to talk about it, they'll talk about it.”

Couric: “Justin was quoted in The Miami Herald in October of 2002, saying, ‘From time to time, I think about it.  But I just have to get it through my system when it comes into my mind. Then I just move on.’ So, those times that he thinks about it, he never talks about it with you?”

Simpson: “No, Justin tends -- he's a remarkable kid in that even when he's got other things on his mind, he has a tendency to turn it inward. And he'll go to his room and do what he has to do. And you know, quite often, I'll say, ‘What's on your mind? What's going on? Did something happen in school today?’ Or maybe he split up with his girlfriend or something. He's always pretty reluctant to get into it. He says, ‘Oh, Dad, I'll be all right. Just leave me alone. I'll be all right.’”

Couric: “Have you ever said, ‘Do you want to sit down and talk about your mother?’”

Simpson: “Not in those words. You know, I'll sit down and say, ‘Is there something you want to talk about,’ whatever the situation might be, you know? And I don't always know what the situation is because, once again, it could be girlfriends or it could be the coach at school, you know? Who knows? But they tend… everybody says they worry about my kids. But I would say this to America.  You better hope your kids end up like my kids, at least at this point. I have two terrific kids. They seem well-adjusted. They're smart as all get-out. And they've got tons of friends. You know? So, most people need to worry about their own kids. And, you know, I've gotten this far. My daughter graduated without any, to my knowledge, tattoos or unusual piercings. And she got into a fine university. So, that's why I feel I'm way ahead of the game.”

Couric: “To this day, many people remain convinced that you killed Nicole and her friend, Ron Goldman. Do you worry that Sidney and Justin will some day come to the same conclusion?”

Simpson: “No.”

Couric: “Why not?”

Simpson: “No. It'd be a waste of time. I doubted that would ever happen. I know my kids know me. And if they did, I would have to deal with it at that time. I certainly don't waste time worrying about it.”

Couric: “They've never looked at you and said, ‘Dad, what happened to Mom?’”

Simpson: “No.”

Couric: "’Did you have anything to do with it?’"

Simpson: “No.”

Couric: “I know that Nicole's parents, you mentioned Lou and Judy. You say you have a good relationship with them. Can you describe your relationship?”

Simpson: “Well, you know, Judy and I have spoken over the years quite often. We tend to try to keep it, you know, towards the kids. And obviously, sometimes other subjects come up. And when you're on the phone for a while, you know, other subjects might come up. But basically it's about the kids, you know? We both made, verbally to one another, a commitment way back then and during all the hassles with child support I mean, child-- who would have custody of the kids. And when we finally settled, we sat down and said, ‘Hey, you know, let's put our differences aside.’

“I had a lot of anger towards them and their family. I felt that they tried to assist in, you know, getting rid of my life and liberty. They felt to some degree, probably I may have been involved with the death of Nicole. But we realized that at this point the kids were the most important and that we needed to put our differences aside, at least when it came to the kids.

“Well, there's no other reason for us to have to socialize. But when I was still in L.A., because they haven't been able to come travel to Florida and attend the kids' various games. But all the games we would attend and sporting events, we would attend together. We would sit together.

“If I was going to go get a cola, I'd say, ‘Lou, Judy, you guys want a Coke?’ If Lou was getting a drink or a popcorn or the hot dogs, he'd say, ‘Juice, you want something?’ And so we were able to have a united front for the kids. And I think we both will agree that it's been good for the kids. Outside of that, we have no relationship.”

Couric: “Because at the conclusion of the civil trial when you were found personally responsible, Judy apparently said, ‘It's something we wanted to hear for 2 1/2 years. We knew justice would be done some day. But we wanted to hear it.’  That seems to not jive necessarily with people who have a cordial relationship. So, I guess people have a hard time understanding how things couldn't be pretty tense between the two families at times.”

Simpson: “Well, I don't know about at times because I'm not around them and they're not around me. I just know that when we are together, we are together for one reason. And that reason is for the kids. And things have been very even, you know? I mean, like, for instance, Denise, I'm not a fan of Denise in any way, shape or form.”

Couric: “In fact, when Stone Phillips asked Denise recently what she thought of the fact that you were still looking for the real killer, she responded, ‘All he has to do is look in the mirror. He doesn't have far to go.’"

Simpson: “So, I mean, that's Denise Brown. If anybody really cares about what the-- I have no feelings towards what Denise Brown thinks. I know Denise Brown. I know what she's about. I know her background. And I'm not a big fan of Denise Brown's. And she's certainly entitled to her opinion. But doesn't affect me or my life any iota. Not one iota. She certainly has had nothing to do with my main job. I'm an executive parent, is what I call myself. And she certainly has had no effect one way or the other, helpful or any other way, in me raising these kids.”

Couric: “Although, she does maintain a relationship with your children, correct?”

Simpson: “Well, I don't know. I recall when she came to Miami once she took them to dinner. And I know that I'm sure when my kids were in California she must see them. I know she sees my son when he's out there.”

Couric: “So, they spend the summer with the Browns?”

Simpson: “Sidney will spend very little time there. She'll go there, say hello and stuff. Then she wants to be her friends in Los Angeles… I mean, the sons of Denise and Dominique are relatively his age. So, he has someone to hang out with.  Of course, now as they're getting older they want to stay with their friends, you know, here in Florida. But they will go out and spend some time there. Sidney not so much as Justin. And I just assume since they all live in Laguna that they see Denise. But outside of that, no, she's had no effect one way or the other on their raising.”

Couric: “A week from tomorrow will be the 10 year anniversary of Nicole's murder. How do you plan to mark that day with your children?”

Simpson: “I don't have-- hopefully, we can be out of the country because of the media. But that's not a day that we've ever honored one way or the other. If it wasn't for the media, I probably wouldn't even know the date. I could not tell you the date of my mother's death. I could not tell you the date of my dad's death. These are not dates that I find significant, you know? And that I want to remember. Now, we celebrate and mark with my sisters and stuff my mother's birth and my father's birth as we do with Nicole.”

Couric: “O.J., I know you've been living in Florida for almost four years now. How do you spend your time here?”

Simpson: “Well, you know, first and foremost, there's always my kids. I mean, with practices and things, my average day starts real early. I go to bed early. I used to get a kick out of the media, the tabloids saying I was on South Beach. And I went like a year and a half, I didn't even-- never go to South Beach.

“I go to bed normally about 8:30 most nights, because I'm up early. And I try to be up when my kids get up. For years, I had to drive first few years, drive them to school. Once Sydney started driving, I'm just up when they're up. Then I go out and play golf. I'm generally off to the course, have lunch or brunch with my buddies.

“Come home, do some reading, do some writing. I try to get to my kids' practice. You know. And get to the school, because a lot of the parents hang out and watch practice, and socialize with the parents. And then after practices, get the kids fed. And then they, you know, they're on their computers, and they're doing their-- and I tend to watch a little TV at that point. Court TV, [laughter] once in a while. Some of the cases I get interested in. And then I go to bed. I'm, you know, I'm a guy that goes to bed relatively early.”

Couric: “Do you play golf every day, about?”

Simpson: “Not every day, but most days, yeah. Most days, I got three or four groups of guys that I play with. And in recent years, in the last probably year and a half, I started traveling a lot, more so than I had probably in the previous six years. You know, because my kids are a little more independent and I have such a support group at my house. For the last few years, my oldest son has lived with us. And we have a lot of friends who come in, and they stay around. And so it's given me the opportunity to start traveling a little more, which has been enlightening, and for me, a sort of a positive thing.”

Public Reception
Couric: “When you travel around the country, or even when you're around here running errands, going to the drug store, grocery store, grabbing a bite to eat, how do people treat you?”

Simpson: “Terrifically. That's been the-- as I said, the kind of healing thing for me. Because even I started to get a little affected by the media. Because I would constantly read, he's a pariah. He's this. And for I would say, four or five years, I tentatively went out.

“You know, I tried to go to places I felt comfortable in, that knew me. I would say about three years ago, I think, I went to the All-Star Game in Philly. And as the Philadelphia Inquirer said, I think that, you know, they booed Kobe, the home cowboy, mainly because he was playing for the Lakers against the '76ers. And every time I went out, they had an impromptu parade for me down State Street.

“Everybody was so positive, and that moment, I think I finally just took it took, you know, just-- it's almost like I it was like a flower blooming. From that point on, I started traveling extensively. And everywhere I go is terrific. You know. And I travel a lot.”

Couric: “But surely not everywhere you go, there's a big parade, and people are cheering you… You must have some negative reaction. For example, I know on the golf course, a man called you a murderer. And then he called you an a-hole, and you got very upset.”

Simpson: “Yeah, but that was what, eight years ago?”

Couric: “Uh-huh.”

Simpson: You know, that was a long time ago… Every blue moon, you'll get something. And you know, there's been a few times that people have been in the media who've actually taken the time to-- and I say, ‘Well, come on, let's go out. Let's go. You pick a bar, you pick a restaurant, and we go in there, and you see what happens.’ And invariably they all say the same thing.

“And anybody who's been around me for any length of time in the media, they will confirm that everywhere you go, people love you, especially when I leave the country. I think even the people we think are our allies have, you know, people don't really love America. And I don't know if it's American people that they don't love. But I think it has a lot to do with our media.

“But they seem to embrace me because they feel that they lied, defeated our system, in some way, shape, or form. But sometimes it's almost at a hero's level, when I go to Europe, or especially when I go to the islands.”

Couric: “Who are your friends?”

Simpson: “It's a diverse group of people. Mostly guys that are business guys. What people don't realize is that even when I was in Los Angeles, especially when I started playing golf, most of the people I hung out with were people from the business world.

“And I had my group of football and sports friends, but once I started playing golf, they didn't play golf -- my best friend, Al Cowlings, didn't play golf. Most of the guys I hung out with were sports people. Off the field, my group here is business people, parents of my kids. You know, school mates. Mostly--

Couric: “What about Marcus Allen, people like that? Ahmad Rashad? Have they-- are they still your friends? Or do you feel like they dropped you?"

Simpson: “I haven't seen them. They've not dropped me. I don't feel like anybody dropped me. Ahmad Rashad and I had a problem long before this happened. When Dick Ebersole and… Terry O'Neill, two guys writing, who longer than I knew Ahmad, were closer friends, called me to offer me a job with NBC. They didn't want me to tell anybody, and they specifically said, ‘Don't mention it to Ahmad, because we're going to reassign Ahmad.’ Now, these were real old buddies of mine. And Ahmad was hurt by that."

Couric: “So, that's what happened… But have other people sort of dropped you like a hot potato, as the result of your troubles?”

Simpson: Well, I don't know. The people, you know, I think I've dropped more than dropped me as far as friends are concerned. But my true friends, the guys who are really friends of mine, they've been solid as a rock of Gibraltar. I felt that the people who I felt, you know, went on TV, and were negative, were the people that I helped the most. The people that were always after something. They were people that were always asking favors. When you look at people like, I mentioned before, Don Ohlmeyer, and guys who -- or Terry Jethro or… you know, guys who were my bosom, real close friends, they stayed solid, and they still stayed solid.”

Where's the money?
Couric: “Since you spend most of your time playing golf and taking care of your kids, some people might wonder, how do you support your family? You have a pension, right? A personal pension and an NFL pension?”                       

Simpson: “Well, you know, the media constantly talks about my NFL pension. My NFL pension can barely pay my son's tuition. You know, it's very little money.”

Couric: “So let me ask you, how do you support them?”

Simpson: “Well, I grew up with the knowledge of Joe Lewis and Sugar Ray Robinson, guys that I met late in their careers, guys that I knew made millions of dollars. And I watched them shaking hands and stuff. So, I made provisions early so that that would never happen to me, that if that rainy day ever came -- not expected what happened to happen – but if I ever got throat cancer, or was immobile, that I would be able to educate my family and live a comfortable life. So early on in my life, I developed pensions from my various companies that I, you know, started. OJ Simpson Enterprises, Orenthal Productions, and so that one day I'd be able to retire, and live comfortably. And fortunately, that rainy day, I was prepared for it.”

Couric: “The civil trial determined that you were responsible for the murders of Ron and Nicole, and required you to pay their families more than $33 million. Have you paid any of that to the Brown or Goldman families?”

Simpson: “Well, they seized assets of mine, mostly in the furniture and art and stuff. As you know, they sold the Heisman for a couple hundred thousand dollars. And to that degree, yes. Have I gone out of my way beyond that? And I haven't. I've been very clear. I won. I didn't commit the crime.

“I don't think they deserve anything. What I find curious is that in the beginning, all I heard Fred Goldman-- I kind of respected him for always saying, ‘It's not about the money, it's about responsibility.’ But ever since then, I don't think I've ever heard him speak without him saying, ‘We didn't get any money.’ You know. So hey, tell him to go get a job.”

Couric: “So do you ever plan to pay this money?”

Simpson: “Not if it's up to me, no.”

Couric: “Is part of the reason you've moved to Florida is because of this so-called Head of Household law which prohibits your wages, if you do get a job, from being garnished to go to that civil settlement?”

Simpson: “You know, that was an added benefit. What everybody knows, I mean, even when Nicole approached me to get back together, and I inquired why, she said that her mother told her I was moving to Florida. So, I was moving to Florida. I was working in New York, for NBC. I was spending half a year on the East Coast. It was just too tough going back and forth. So, I was preparing to move to Florida anyway. And then the deaths happened, and that kind of derailed me.  And I thought I was going to move immediately when my trial was over, but then there was the civil trial and the custody trial, and so -- but a added benefit is some of the laws here in Florida. But I was moving here long before June 12, in '94.”

Couric: “Since moving to Florida, you haven't exactly led the life of a quiet retiree, completely. You've been charged with battery in a road rage incident. There have been some 911 calls, involving fights with your girlfriend."

Simpson: “That's one incident… which is not necessarily true.”

Couric: “Federal agents have searched your home for the drug ecstasy. I want to point out that none of these incidents resulted in a conviction. But can you see why people reading this might think, this is a guy who has trouble controlling his anger? And he just goes off?”

Simpson: “Well, you know, I think people who want to believe that, believe it immediately. No matter what they say. I saw some lady on TV, on one of the TV stations, pretty vocal hostess, ‘Oh, I told you he'd be in trouble.’

“Well, most thinking Americans, when they really look at it, they can see that there was nothing to virtually any of these things. There's only one that I was charged with anything. And the jury came back probably quicker than criminal jury, saying this was ridiculous. And when we spoke to them after, even the Miami Herald thought it was ridiculous. You know? And when they took a vote on Court TV, everybody thought it was ridiculous.

“I am a target. I have to accept the fact that I am a target. And it's easy, in the majority of times, it's the media. And everybody talks about the media. But if we were to take each of those incidences you'll see. One time, a guy called because I drove to an apartment. And he thought there was some judgment against me being there. Well, the next day, a week later, when the media reported it, it was, ‘O.J. had a knock-down drag out fight with his girlfriend, and the neighbors called the cops."’

“No. No. When they finally played the 911 tape, the guy called because he thought there was something against me being there. You know? But to this day, that's a fight that O.J. [had] with his girlfriend, which is just not true.”

Couric: “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Simpson: “I see a girl now, yeah.”

Couric: “The same person you've been seeing?”

Simpson: “I've seen a girl on and off. And then for a few years I was seeing other girls. And then I'm seeing the girl that I've been seeing her mostly on and off for the last eight years, and it's on right now.”

Couric: “Do you have trouble controlling your anger?”

Simpson: “I don't think so. You know, I always tell everybody, I had one fight in my adult life. I had the famous '89 fight with Nicole, which she admits that she initiated the physical part. And I admitted immediately that pulling her out of my room was the wrong thing to do. I reacted wrong to that.

“Outside of that, I don't get in fights, you know, and I'm normally the guy who's trying to keep my friends, even before and after. Sometimes you have a friend that don't like the way somebody's reacting to something, and they'll get aggressive. That was more when my trial was first over.

“I'm not a guy to get in fights. I said my record speaks for itself. How many people know me to get in fights? How many fights have I been in? And trust me, there's very few Americans out there, guys, who think they're, you know, relatively macho, that could hold their temper with some of the stuff that I've had to go through, with the media and paparazzi and stuff. I think I've been very good about it. It's hard to get to me.”

Questions of abuse
Couric: “Other than that incident that you talked about in 1989, you've repeatedly denied abusing Nicole. But when you think about the photograph of her bruised face that she kept in a safety deposit box, along with letters of apology by you and her diary, when you think about that 911 call she made in 1993, when she sounded so desperate and said, ‘It's O.J.'s wife, you know his records, he's F-ing going nuts.’ When you think about the diary entry she made nine days before she was murdered where she quotes you saying, ‘You hung up on me last night, you're gonna pay for this, bitch.’

“When you think about the fact that she reportedly told a friend that ‘if he ever does kill me, he'll OJ his way out of it.’ These things, for many people, add up to a woman who was somehow collecting evidence, If something terrible ever happens to her.

Simpson: “Well see, what you overlooked, you talking about rumors, stuff that I've never seen. You've got to look at the quality of the person who said some of these things, allegedly said it.I can only go by, if the public reads her letter. To me.  read what she told the police. For instance, you say the 911 tape, where ‘he's going F-ing nuts.’

“Well, the police asked her when they got there. They have it on tape. ‘Does he ever hit you?’ She says, ‘One time.’  One time. When she had to testify during our divorce, in her depositions, ‘One time.’ You know. To me, that's what should carry the-- if anything should be what you said under oath, what you said to the cops, and not these alleged rumors that she said. You know?”

Couric: “But these are diary entries. These are—“

Simpson: “You said a diary entry. I haven't seen any diary entries. What I saw was during a trial, her therapy notes. And in her therapy notes, she's quite clear about why she wanted me back. It was her after me at the time of her death, not me after her. She had spent the previous year and a half trying to get me back in a relationship. She makes it as clear as day in her writings.

“She makes it clear as day. You guys ignore that. You want to hear the more, what you think, salacious things that people rumorly said. I haven't seen these diary entries.”      

Couric: “Many people heard that 911 call, though, didn't they?  Didn't it sound like a woman who was scared out of her mind, and was desperate for help, ‘I'm terrified.’”

Simpson: “What it sounded like-- I think America, since my trial, has finally looked at that in its total context. You media people, when in your zeal to get ratings and incite the public, only played segments of it. You didn't listen to the whole thing. You don't listen to when the cops got there, they taped her conversation.

“’Did you think he was going to hit you?’ She said, ‘No.’ What people hear on that tape is me venting to Kato [Kaelin]. On a few instances in that tape, she comes out of her room and talks to me downstairs. When the police officer told her to stay in her room… she said, ‘I don't want to stay in my room.’ She walks into the room that I'm in.

“If she's so afraid, why would she leave that room, not wait for the cops, and walk in the room that I'm standing with Kato at the time? And when the cops came in, she told him. She didn't think he was ‘going to hit me, just that when he starts yelling, makes me mad.’

“She also admits that she called me to come to the house to have this argument.  And let me say this. I want an American male, American female out there, to tell me that if they found out that day that their wife and their ex-wife had drug dealers and hookers who admitted being there, who admitted staying in their house. That's what I found out that day. And that's why I went over there and read her the riot act.

“I did not want these people around my house. Now nobody debates that that's what that argument was about. I left, I went home. She called me, she admits, and asked me to come back to finish the-- she wants to talk it through. ‘You promised me we will talk these things through.’

“I came back. It turned into an argument. Most of the argument, I was in the room with Kato downstairs, and when she went upstairs and called the police. He didn't know she called the police. I didn't know she called the police. By the time the police got there, she had calmed down. I was outside. The police did nothing, and they left.

“To me, that is what should have been germane, is the facts, not the heat, you know, all this talk about me yelling. Well, most of the tough stuff you hear me yelling on that tape, I'm talking to Kato. And when she asks me directly at one point, you hear me knock on her bedroom door.

“And she told the police, ‘What is he doing?’ ‘He's knocking on the door.’ ‘What is he doing now?’ ‘He wants to know why the door is locked.’ ‘Where is he now?’ ‘He went back downstairs.’ Well, I'm sorry, that's the way it is. I'm sorry. I would be mad today if I found out that some friend of mine was with my kids, and had hookers and drug addicts staying at their house.”

Couric: “Well, in fact, you told an Esquire reporter in 2002 that you were still angry with Nicole, because she was not the person you knew her to be, that she had changed.”

Simpson: “That's not necessarily true. Nicole was a different person. And I think every friend of hers -- you media people, excuse me for saying it that way, don't want to talk to her close friends. People like Suzie Kiel and Cora Fischman. These are the people every admit were her friends. They weren't this group of people she got involved with in the last six months to eight months of her life.”

“They weren't drug people. They weren't people partying and doing drugs and they've spoken out. And nobody wants to hear from them. They had book deals, but the minute they weren't saying all this salacious, horrible stuff, ‘This is not the OJ and Nicole that I knew’-- the book deals fell through.”

Couric: “Are you suggesting that Nicole was hanging out with the wrong crowd, and somehow someone in that crowd is responsible for her murder?”

Simpson: “I've always said that. When suggesting? I made it as clear, that somewhere in Faye [Resnick's] life, it's happened before in Faye's life. Same situation happened before in her life, and it happened again. Now you guys make it like, ‘OJ's been hitting this, and hitting that.’ I don't think anybody could be any clearer than me about the judgment, about paying the judgment. About why I think, and who I think was involved with her death, is this group of, I think, just horrible type people that she was hanging around with. People that not only did I not like, people her mother didn't like. We talked about it often back then before her death. That we didn't like this group of people that she was hanging around with.”

Couric: “You suggested that for Fred Goldman, this was all about money.  He would say, this is about justice for his son's murder. You were found responsible, you should pay the price.”

Simpson: “Well, pay. That's like-- I mean, I'm only quoting Fred.”

Couric: “Well, if that's the punishment, then it's money.”

Simpson: “Stop talking about money. Well, money is money…get paid money for...”

Couric: “So why not pay the price?”

Simpson: “Because I'm not-- I followed the law. I followed the law. See here's -- right now I cannot, could make this any clearer, from day one. I'm not paying a penny, I'm not doing nothing that the law doesn't dictate me to do. I followed the law to the letter. If it means giving them money for something I didn't do, I won't work. I make no bones about this. And sometimes, I don't understand why we even try to debate it. I couldn't be any clearer. Can I be any clearer than that? I'm not paying them nothing.

“I'm not paying them any more than the law dictates that I have to pay. If that means I don't work, I don't work. America, I cannot be any clearer than that. So why are we still talking about this? I don't get it.”

Couric: “OJ, before I ask you about the trial, let me ask you about Nicole.  When you think of Nicole, what goes through your mind?”

Simpson: “I see the Nicole that I knew most of my life. A couple of times Cora Fischman and I have found ourselves talking about how much we miss her. I loved her. I missed her. Our time was -- unfortunately at her death, we were at odds. We tried to get back together for a year at her insistence, and it just didn't work. But she was a terrific mother. And I miss her more when-- you know, girls, as I said earlier, are emotional. Most of your problems have to do with emotions. And sometimes I wonder if I did a disservice by not getting involved with someone, a lady that could probably deal with those type of emotions. So I bet, as I said earlier, I've had to rely on Judy and my sister mostly. That's when I really think about her the most, is probably more when I'm having -- when Sidney is having trouble, you know, emotionally dealing with, you know, what teenage girls deal with.”

Couric: “Ninety-five million people watched as they read the verdict in your criminal trial.  Why, in your view, were people so obsessed with this?”

Simpson: “I mean, I didn't understand then. I mean, I think people do like to see successful people fall. You know, the Martha Stewart -- it amazes me how some people seem to be almost at glee for her problems. And beyond that, I look at the Scott Peterson -- two very unfamous people, he and his wife, Laci. And I don't know. But I find myself to some degree hooked up in it. I think America knew me so well, and I also feel that the media help pushed it. But I think being then who I was and then such a ghastly, brutal murder, it had all those elements. And then with those Faye Resnicks and Katos, and they brought a kind of circus, you know, crazed, element to it.

“And trust me, these weren't my people that I hung around with as a part of my life. And that, as I said, always bothered me, that the media made it sound like that these were the normal people in our lives.”

A racial divide
“Do you still, to this day, having anything to do with the murders of Nicole and Ron?”

Simpson: “Emphatically. I did not have anything to do with these murders.  Ever.”

Couric: “We commissioned a poll this week. And apparently, many people have trouble believing you, for whatever reason: 77 percent of the respondents today, this week, still believe you murdered Nicole and Ron.”

Simpson: “Well, that's their problem. That's not my problem.”

Couric: “Why do you think that's the case?”

Simpson: “I don't know. When I speak at colleges, and I've said this to you before, I take a poll. And the poll is generally about that in the past. Or if I spoke at a group, and I used to do that quite often, and those were about the numbers that I get.

“But once we start going through what is truly the evidence, even to this day, when I'm watching other cases, they quote evidence that was not evidence in my case.  The average person cannot quote the true evidence of my case. They quote stuff that came out of media.

“Oh, he was he was jealous, and the control, none of that was in the trial.  He was at the other day, I told someone, said, ‘Well, they-- Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson -- were using the O.J. strategy of changing where the trial is,’ you know—“

Couric: “Change of venue?”                    

Simpson: “Change of venue. I never had any issue about venue in my trial. We never once, it was purely into [Gil] Garcetti's hands. But people are misled by reports of that.

Couric: “It's interesting to note that when it comes to your guilt or innocence, it's very much divided among racial lines. Of this poll we commissioned, 70 percent of the African-Americans we surveyed believe you are not guilty.”

Simpson: “No.”

Couric: “What do you make of this racial divide that still exists today?”

Simpson: “Well, you know, I always say that, when it comes to the law and the legal system, blacks are far more realistic than whites, because whites don't see the things that we see happen, that cops will do things that, you know, or the Innocence Project. I think what's been very clear in the last two or three years, with so many people coming off death row, that something obviously is-- because of DNA, especially in rape cases and stuff, there's something wrong where juries can find these people beyond a reasonable doubt, they're guilty, and now we find out they had nothing to do with it.

“Just recently we see this case where the guy is at a baseball game. Well, to me, when the media, and I hold the media responsible for a lot of this, the media never asks, ‘How were you guys able to present this evidence to convince the jury that this guy was guilty when we now found out that he wasn't guilty?’ And somebody else confesses?

“Well, somebody skewed the evidence. And you guys never go after the prosecution. Never go after the prosecution. In these many, many cases that we're seeing, where convicted people are found not guilty by DNA or whatever, and nobody ever goes after the prosecution and find out, ‘How were you able to convince the jury that this guy was innocent?’ And I guarantee you, if you do, you'll see what some of the Fuhrman acts and stuff, where they skewed evidence to make the person look guilty.”

Couric: “We're not going to retry the case, but of course there are some indelible images in the mind of people when it comes to evidence. For example, the trail of blood leading from the crime scene to your home; cuts on your finger that you said were from a broken glass; 31 photos that were later found of you wearing Bruno Magli shoes—“

Simpson: “Different photos. See that's a guy-- this is one guy who sent that roll of film to Europe, where now we see him morphing people on commercials all the time. I could put those Bruno Maglia shoes on your feet with a computer.”

Couric: “So you think those photos were doctored?”

Simpson: “Well, we brought the foremost expert in court, and he said that they were doctored. The only person that during the Warren Report scored 100 percent when our government brought these people in to find out if those photos, during the Kennedy situation was doctored or not. They set them up with fakes. The one guy who scored 100 percent came into court and showed, I don't know, any number of ways why that was a doctored-- those were doctored photos.

Couric: “The process—“

Simpson: “And why did that film go to Europe first? To where they invented this process? You know?”

Couric: “But you add all these things up, even if you're quibbling with them, and the Bronco chase.”

Simpson: “Quibbling? There's no Bronco chase. That's why it never came up in court, because they knew that if they brought it up in court, they would have to tell the American public that Al Cowlings called them, told them where they were, and told them where they could come get me.”

Couric: “You weren't desperate that day in the Bronco?”

Simpson: “Well, I was desperate, yeah, no doubt about that.”

Couric: “What were you doing? You were just driving?”

Simpson: “I was going to her grave. I think, you know, this is stuff we've talked about for years. I've never made any bones, and never was shy, even on your, I think four years ago we did an interview to explain all of this. That's why the American public may feel, the ones that feel I'm guilty, because to this day they still think that the Bronco chase, most people, I guarantee of those 77 people, you couldn't convince them that the Bronco ride, or follow, was not part of my trial.

“It never ever, in three trials that I had, it never came. But the average person, that 77 percent that you said think I'm guilty, I guarantee you, they thought that was a part of my case. It never was. Prosecution never brought it up, because then they would have had to tell the American public that they knew where I was. And they see it-- called them, and told them where I was going.”

Couric: “You're almost 56 years old.”

Simpson: “I wish. I'm almost 57.”

Couric: “You're almost 57 years old. Correction. Actually, that's right. And when you look over your life, and remember that you won the Heisman Trophy, you were a pro-football Hall-of-Famer. You went on to be an NBC sports broadcaster, an actor, a corporate pitchman, very, very famous commercials. And then the murders.

“When you look back on this life of yours, how do you [make sense of] this? And are you profoundly disappointed in the way your life has turned out?”

Simpson: “Well, I-- first of all, no, I'm not disappointed. Obviously, I wish this wasn't an element of my life. I don't give as much credence. That happened. You know, if you think I'm guilty, then you have any faith, well I'll spend eternity in damnation. Well, I wasn't guilty. I didn't do it. I'm happy with my life.

“And I certainly don't give that part of my life, the trial and all that, any more credence that anything else that -- matter of fact, I give it less. I've over the last eight years, seven years, have created a situation for my kids, that it's the content of your character, and what you're about, that you should be judged on. And don't let people bring all this negative stuff from the past into your life. You know.

"Be positive. Go on, and be the best people you can be. And because they're going to continually try to rope you, and bring you down in it. And there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing, except move on and be positive in your life.

"And fortunately, around the-- and in my household, is very positive. That's why my house as it were, was before all of this, is sort of a meeting place for all my friends. And my kids' friends.”

Couric: “A tabloid reported last week that you were shopping your story around to the highest bidder, and that you were even offering to take pictures at Nicole's grave for money. Is that true?”

Simpson: “Well, you know that ain't true. And you know I didn't shop it around, because you guys been asking me. Everybody's been asking me. I could have done 1,000 interviews in the last three years, made tons of money, and you know.  I mean, that's not even worthy to comment on. You know I don't do that, and I wouldn't do that.

“And don't get me wrong, I've been offered all kinds of cash in the past to take my kids and go to the gravesite. I was very upset with the Browns when they took my kids to the gravesite with a cameraman. That teed me off, and they -- even thinking about it now, it really upsets me.

“But, hey. That was then. You know, you got to let it go. And you move on.”

Couric: “Tell me about the show you're pitching called ‘Juice.’"

Simpson: “Well, I'm not pitching anything. You know, I'm not--

Couric: “Well what is it?“

Simpson: “--on here to pitch it. You know, I get offered a lot of things. And I turn them down, because you know, it would detract from my time with my kids.  Some things would have forced me to move somewhere else and spend a lot of time there.

“This was something I thought was funny, and fun. They were able to give me a few dollars up front. And I did it to pay some bills. And I had a good time shooting the shows.

“And I thought they were funny. And despite the criticism, I even saw on TV today, somebody comment, ‘Would you like to have OJ with its [unintelligible] have OJ.’ Well, the bottom line is, everybody that got involved with, unknowingly as the public, they all enjoyed it, and seemed to get a kick out of it. And that's where it is everywhere I go.”

Couric: “After you were acquitted in the criminal trial, your son Jason read a statement you'd written. And it said that you would pursue, ‘as my primary goal in life, the killer or killers who slaughtered Nicole and Mr. Goldman.’ You went on to say, ‘They're out there somewhere. Whatever it takes to identify them and bring them in, I will provide it somehow.’ Four years ago, I asked you how the hunt for the real killers was going. Are you still pursuing this?”

Simpson: “In recent years, very little. For years, I had guys who had volunteered to help me. And they were helping investigators and people about, I think it may have been three or four years ago. There was a group of doctors, and friends who were helping extensively.

“And what is indicative of it is what happened to them. They had a theory about the phone records. Something as simple as the phone records. That Lou Brown's first recollection of the last time he had spoken to Nicole was after 11:00, where I was on the airplane.

“They went, they realized that those official records were never put night court. So they tried to get those records. They got fought every step of the way. They had to have three court proceedings.”

Couric: “So—“

Simpson: “Let me finish. Cost a lot of money. Three court -- and it was something as simple as phone records. If they were wrong, show the phone record, and there's no issue. It's done. But they fought them every step of the way.  And that's been indicative of everybody who's gotten involved who's tried to interview people.

“Investigators. One guy from Palm Beach who's tried to interview people. Nobody wants to talk to him. They get no help from trying to find evidence. They went and tried to get something out of the court. And they said, ‘Hodgeman took it home.’  You know, evidence in my case, you know.

“And so, you get discouraged.  I, at one point, even though I endorsed what they were doing, realized that my focus had to be Sidney and Justin. And that became my focus. Now… who knows what might happen in the future.

“But right now, my focus is still on my two kids. And unfortunately, because of the fight that these individuals have gone through, they've been very, very discouraged. In trying to follow up on things.”

Couric: “We're out of time. But in closing, how would you like to be remembered?

Simpson: “I think anybody who's met me, know my personality. Just even around here, when we're not filming. And I like to think I'm a good guy. I treated everybody the way I wanted to be treated. And I gave what I got. You know, I think I'm a good father.

“You know, I think I'm an up-spirited guy. And despite what I've gone through, I've survived. And I've been able to stay positive, and keep my humor, and I think most people who would describe me, who's around me today, would say that they -- the one who've known me before this would say he's the same guy. And the one that knows me now would say, ‘Hey, he's an up-spirited, positive guy.’”

Couric: “Your children are now 18 and 15, Sydney and Justin.  How are they doing?”

Simpson: “They're doing terrific. I mean, I couldn't me more proud of them.  They're both excellent students, honor students. My daughter just graduated this past week and got accepted to a very fine -- a northeastern school. I’m actually –“             

Couric: “I read she wants to be a child psychologist. Is that true?”

Simpson: “Yes, yes, well that's what she says. But, you know kids, it changes. But she's certainly got the grades and the brain to be whatever she wants to be.”

Couric: “But that's an interesting career choice. Has she gone through therapy both of them?”

Simpson: “Of course they have. But, you know, that was the choice at one point that Arnelle wanted to do. And she had never really had gone through therapy. You know, she had dyslexia and had to have special schools for a while before she—“

Couric: “Arnelle, your older daughter.”

Simpson: “My oldest daughter. So, that was-- that was the profession that she originally wanted to pursue. My son, obviously, he'll be a junior. He'll be 16 this summer.

“And he is just an all around terrific athlete and I've got to say one of the greatest kids I've ever seen.  And, you know, they're very popular at school. My house seems to be the meeting point for their group of friends.

“They went to a great school that's-- I can't say much. I mean, they, you know, I normally don't mention it. But there's a school here in Miami that they attended that, I mean, they just-- it's so good for the kids, just was so good for my kids and they just excelled, excelled at.”

Couric: “Sidney, I know, graduated from high school last week. Was it hard not to have her mother there. Because that's such an important rite of passage for a child.”

Simpson: “Yeah, obviously, I mean my biggest problem and probably when I think of Nicole the most is with girls, there problems are more emotional. Guys [do] dumb things you know. You know, you can deal with that. But fortunately for me between Nicole's mom and my sister, Shirley, and my older daughter and, you know, I have to go to them, you know, sometimes because I feel ill-equipped to deal with the problems.

“And sometimes I feel that maybe I made a mistake by choosing not to get involved and bringing another woman into the house. If that's hurt anyone I think it may hurt Sidney to some degree. But fortunately for me, there's no usual piercings and no tattoos. And she's an honor student. And she got accepted to a real fine school.  So, I got to think I'm ahead of the game.”

Couric: “What values have you tried to instill in your child? You know, it's so tough to try to raise kids today. What have been the most important lessons that you've tried to teach them?”

Simpson: “Well, the main thing, and this is what I hammer to them about the -- it's your character. You know, all money takes wings-- you know, those old sayings, fame is a vapor, money takes wings. The only thing that endures is character.  And it's not what happened to you in life.

“I really stress, you make no excuses. And it's easy --it would be easy for my kids to make excuses with what's happened with their mom and the media and with me.  But I say, ‘Hey, nobody wants to hear this. You need to-- it takes no talent to make excuses.’ And I'd say, ‘Hey, you've got to live your own life. You've got a life to live.  And you can accept all of this stuff and let it control and dictate your life. Or you can take control of your life and live whatever life you want.’ And fortunately, to this point, that's what my kids have been able to do.”

Couric: “Some people might be surprised to learn that the subject of their mother's death and murder and the terrible circumstances surrounding that, that they have never ever come up in 10 years?”

Simpson: “Never come up in 10 years.”

Couric: “Never once?”

Simpson: “But, you know, what's funny, I've had the best psychologists and therapists involved. And they find that that's not unusual. They say the big-- the kids tend to live for the future not to the past. And one—“

Couric: “But do they talk with their therapist about it?”

Simpson: “Not to my knowledge. Of course, the therapists don't talk to me about what he talks to them about. Of course, my son hasn't been to the therapist in years. And if my daughter goes, it has more to do with being a teenager-- teenage girl in this day and age, not that.

“They seem to have been able to deal with that and moved on. But I don't find it all that usual. I never have sat down with my ex-wife Nicole-- I mean, Margarite and discussed the drowning of our baby. I mean, I never have. You know, I don't want to discuss it. “

Couric: “Don’t think it would be healthy or—“

Simpson: “I'm-- it's sad that it happened. It was a tremendous loss. We dealt with it. We moved on. And I don't need to know in that case, where she was at that moment that my baby fell into the pool.

I've been told that the subject-- don't push it. One day the subject might come up.  And you should be prepared to talk about it. And I am. So, when it comes up, we'll deal with it.”

Couric: “You have said, ‘I'm not naive. I think that this may be problematic for them in the future.’”

Simpson: “Well, it's problematic for them if they let it be problem. That's why I keep stressing to them, don't let these other people, you know, dictate what's going on in your life. Don't let the media do it. You're going to always have somebody trying to do it.

“Like this week, all of a sudden I've got people pretending they're so concerned about my kids. And I think that for the parents that children attended school with my kids, they would say these are two terrific kids. You know, I wish to -- on America that at this stage, age in life that all their kids could be as well adjusted as my kids are.

Couric: “A lot of people out there still believe you murdered Nicole and Ron Goldman. What would you say to convince them otherwise?”

Simpson: “I don't try to convince. I'm beyond that. I used to do, I think, four years ago when I was on your show, I was still trying to convince people otherwise.  I've just thrown that away. That's their problem, you know.

You better get your soul and your heart ready for when your day come. I think mine is ready. And hey, that's your problem, you know. Everybody's got whatever problems they have. I refuse to let somebody's mistaken beliefs affect my life.”

Couric: “Why are you refusing to pay one red cent to the family of Ron Goldman?”

Simpson: “I'm not-- I'm refusing to anymore than what the court tells me I have to do.  If they did get some money, I'm sure their lawyers got it.”

Couric: “Well, they certainly didn't get the $33.5 million that—“

Simpson: “No, and they're not going—“

Couric: “--that civil judgment asked for.”

Simpson: “Yeah and they’re not going to get it from me. I'm not breaking any laws. If I have to work-- if by working in-- I have certain laws in Florida that I can-- but if any work that I do results in them getting money, I will not do it. I didn't do the crime. I'm not going to pay them a dime. And that's the name of that tune, you know.”

Couric: “So, you'll never pay this judgment?”

Simpson: “I'll never do anymore than what the court tells me I have to do.”

Couric: “In one interview in the New Yorker, you said that when you go out to eat, you won't sit with your back to the room. Do you worry about your physical safety?”

Simpson: “Well, I don't ever recall doing an interview with the New Yorker.”

Couric: “It would have been July 9, 2001.”

Simpson: “I don't remember doing the interview. But I don't, you know, I can't worry about my -- you know, I don't live my life in -- I try to teach my kids, we don't live our life in fear. For a few years when my trial first ended, I had a security guard with me.

And he-- it was more because people were coming to the house. They were hanging outside our house. From time to time now, I have a security guard with me.  Because if I'm going out and I know I'm going to drink, I'm, you know, I've been such a target  for various people and for, well, to the police, you know, I've got to admit that the Miami Police have been great.

“It's the media that take these little incidences where they come see it and leave and turn it into a whole different incident. But that's the only time I actually have security guards around me is if I'm going out and I know I'm going to be drinking so that they drive. And just make sure that what tends to happen with celebrities especially in Miami with hip hop and everything that it doesn't happen to me.”

Couric: “You're often referred to as a pariah. And you beg to differ.”

Simpson: “Well, you know, you can refer to me whatever you want. I go most places I want. Everywhere I go, people are fine in restaurants. And anybody who's traveled with me will tell you that they can't believe it.

Most of my friends will not travel, vacation, unless they're with me.  Because they love the fact they don't have wait in lines. And even from the Vatican to Las Vegas nightclubs they rush me in. And they have somebody help us. And half the time I don't even have to pay the bill.”

Couric: “You spend most of your days playing golf and caring for your kids. Would you like to get a job?”

Simpson: “You know what—“

Couric: “Apparently Gale tells us you've had trouble getting work.  Is that true?”

Simpson: “I'm-- I don't know. I haven't looked for work  I know if Gale said that I don't know if he documents that some specific that he was referring to. I'm always offered stuff. And I did a little Juice thing because I thought it was funny in the way it was—“

Couric: “The TV show?

Simpson: “--set up, the little TV thing that—“

Couric: “Like ‘Punk'd?’”

Simpson: “--ffell through. We came as far-- like ‘Punk'd.’ And there's a few other things I'm looking at doing. Obviously, I have to look at the Florida laws.

“Because I'm not going to do it if it results in them receiving any money for something I didn't do. But outside of that, I'm, you know, it's not like -- I get bored sometime. I grant you that. That's when I sit down and write. But I haven't gone out and actively tried to pursue any work, no.”

Couric: “Galanter, your attorney is quoted in the New Yorker as saying, ‘I envision one day when O.J. will again be a celebrity spokesmen in the mainstream of commerce. Americans are very forgiving. They forgave Marv Albert and Frank Gifford.’ Do you think that your client could be a successful pitchman and what kind of product do you think he'd be successful at pitching?”

Yale Galanter: “I do. I absolutely do. And that's the type of work I was talking about. He—O.J. has not gotten any offers for mainstream corporate America. He hasn't gotten an offer from Hertz. He certainly has gotten an offer from NBC or an offer from ABC. There have been a number of projects that O.J.'s been offered that we have sat down and discussed that we felt were very distasteful. And he's refused to do them. But my phone rings off the hook everyday with him getting specific offers. And, you know, 99 out of 100 of them we turn down just because we don't think that they're of the stature and class level that should be bestowed on him.”

Simpson: “And let me add one thing.  I can't be recall any place that I've gone to in recent years that if I went there for the first time, restaurant, night club or what, where management and or waitresses or waiters didn't say, ‘We've had this celebrity and this celebrity. We've never seen the reaction that you get. You got-- everybody comes over and wants to talk to you and stuff.’

“So, people have been very positive. I always say, put me on one corner and put somebody on another corner.  Let's see who gets the biggest crowd.”

Couric: “Are you still searching for the real killers?”

Simpson: “Well, in recent years, I've done nothing actively. There's one guy was a volunteer early who's still trying to look into things. But what really happened about four years ago when Doc Johnson's group was trying to get the phone records.

“They had been actively searching a lot of things. They're the ones that got all the doctors together and came to the conclusion that whoever did this was left handed.  They were trying to get phone records. Because they Lou Brown was accurate when he said the last time they had spoke to Nicole was after 11.

“And they realized that the official records were never presented in court. This is a very simple thing, okay. We'd like to get the records. But the court and the Browns have to sign off. Fine, I didn't believe that they were correct. I honestly thought Doc Johnson was wrong. But we all got suspicious when they worked so hard to keep from showing those phone records.

Couric: “So, you were frustrated? You gave up the effort?”

Simpson: “No, no, no, didn't give up, went to court three different times and was rules against all three times, took it as far as it could be taken on something as simple as a phone record. And it really kind of discouraged some of these groups who had volunteered and some of the PI's who couldn't get people to talk to them from helping out.  And that's the way it is. But why would you have to fight something as simple as, ‘Here's the phone record. You guys are wrong. It's over.’ You know?”

Couric: “Let me ask your reaction to an observation. Some might say the police department could have planted evidence, could have been sloppy, could have mishandled evidence in this case.  But if  that, alone, does not exonerate you.  In other words, they're not necessarily mutually exclusive.  Both things might have happened.”

Simpson: “Well, you know, all I can do is say look at what's been happening with Innocence Project and death row, the kid that was on TV, finally got out of jail because they saw him at the baseball stadium just this past week. Lucky for him otherwise he'd spend his life in jail. I kind of blame the media that when we found out that some guy was unjustly not only accused but convicted beyond a reasonable doubt and then through DNA or something they find out he didn't do or somebody else confess-- is how many of these cases have happened in the last three years where guys will come off death row. What do the police and the prosecutors do to skew the evidence to convince to convict 12 jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that these people were guilty. And we realized they weren't guilty.

“And until the media starts going after those prosecutors and those cops who put these people wrongly in jail, we're going to have a system that is flawed. And we're going to have a system that the rest of the country say, ‘We don't even respect our system.’ I get that all the time when I travel.

“America wants everybody to be-- they're the moral conscience of the world. And England, when I went to England many times and Ireland, they all ask me over and over and over, "I don't get it.  You went through their system and they still don't believe it."  Well, if we don't respect our own system, what do you expect the rest of the world to feel. That kind of understands why they don't like us so well.

Couric: “Let me name some names and get you to get me a quick one sentence about them. Fred Goldman?”

Simpson: “I hope he finds peace in his life. That's all I can say.”

Couric: “Denise Brown?”

Simpson: “User. I think she's taking advantage of her sister's death for financial gain.”

Couric: “Marcia Clark?”

Simpson: “Not a nice person, I am not a big fan of Marcia. But I don't begrudge her anything. Good, she got $4.3 million for her book. I don't begrudge her. But I just don't think she's a nice person.”

Couric: “Kato Kaelin?”

Simpson: “You know what? I think Kato's a good guy, that the one thing that has bothered me -- I know this is more than one sentence -- is that the person that Nicole hated the most in her last six months of her life was Kato. She'd just send him nasty messages, would call him and say, ‘I'm coming over to swim. And you'd better not be around.’ Would say horrible things to him in front of our kids.

“And he would come to me with, ‘Why? What did I do that—‘ ‘Kato, will you find a place to live? Would you find a place to live and move.I told you could stay here until you find a place.’ I didn't see much of him because I wasn't living in L.A. at the time. And to see him take advantage of Nicole's close friend. That bothers me a little bit. But outside of that, Kato's an okay, guy.”

Couric: “Well, he got a lot more than a sentence. And finally, in closing, Nicole Brown?”

Simpson: “Terrific mother, a very, very capable person, who I miss.”

Couric: “Okay, I think we're out of time.”