Everything O.J. Simpson Said About the Murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman

Simpson maintained until his death that he did not kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman and was searching for the real killers

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1989.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1989.

Back in 1994, O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The pair were killed in a brutal slashing that took place in Nicole's Los Angeles home. Simpson was ultimately acquitted during his 1995 criminal trial, dubbed “the trial of the century." The outrage and media circus that surrounded their deaths changed how the public saw the former NFL star forever.

The Brown and Goldman families sued Simpson in a 1997 civil trial, and he was found responsible for Ron and Nicole's deaths by a preponderance of the evidence. Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million to their families, an amount he only paid a fraction of, Ron’s sister Kim Goldman previously told PEOPLE.

Simpson — who died on April 11 at the age of 76 — made many public statements about the murder and his court cases and always stated that he did not kill them and was looking for the people who did. Here's everything Simpson has said in public statements about Ron and Nicole's deaths.

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1989.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1989.

O.J. Simpson Denied Killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman — And Vowed to Find the Real Killer

Simpson said during his 1995 trial, while explaining to Judge Lance Ito his decision not to testify in his own defense, "I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime."

Just weeks after Nicole’s death in July 1994, Simpson’s lawyer announced a $500,000 reward for info that led to the “real killer or killers,” per The Los Angeles Times. At a press conference after Simpson’s acquittal, his son Jason read a statement from his father where he said Simpson’s main priority going forward would be to find the “killer or killers” who committed the crime, per Vanity Fair at the time.

In January 1996, he was interviewed on BET by journalist Ed Gordon. "I think the media is the main reason why America is feeling the way they're feeling," he said. "They were lied to." He also said he was “very angry” at the Goldman and Brown families. Asked about the crime, he said, "No, I did not commit those murders. I couldn't kill anyone, and I don't know of anyone who was involved." That same month, Simpson began selling a mail-order videotape on which he spoke about the case, but again maintained his innocence.

He Called the Trial 'One-Sided'

Simpson gave one of his first TV interviews after his civil trial to Katie Couric. He said the debate about the trial had been “one-sided,” so he began a website so he could promote his innocence, saying that “Millions of Americans don’t believe in my guilt in any shape or form” and he wanted to give them a space to ask him questions. He also told her he thought the amount of damages awarded in the civil trial was “totally illegal” and he would “never pay any dime” to the verdict.

He also told Couric that from “time to time” he received new information about the real killers but that his investigation was hampered as a private citizen. Still, he said he believed the real killer was someone Nicole met through friend Faye Resnick.

Related: The O.J. Nobody Knew — Read PEOPLE's July 4, 1994 Cover Story

He Said He'd 'Love to Get My Hands on Whoever Did This'

In 1998, Simpson told Esquire, "If I'm hurting right now, it's not because I've done anything wrong. It's because I miss her." He continued, "If I could sit down with [Ron’s father] Fred Goldman and talk to him, I would say, 'Listen, I would love to get my hands on whoever did this. Love to.”

He also told the outlet, "Let's say I committed this crime. Even if I did do this, it would have to have been because I loved her very much, right?"

Simpson gave another interview in 2004 to Couric 10 years after the murders. He said that he “never really spoke about” Nicole’s death with their young children, Sydney and Justin.

He said that he did not worry about his children asking if he killed their mother. “It'd be a waste of time,” he said. “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.”

Some of Simpson’s assets, including his Heisman trophy, had been seized and sold off to pay his civil trial’s damages, but he told Couric that he otherwise did not go out of his way to come up with the money. “I've been very clear. I won. I didn't commit the crime,” he said.

O.J. Simpson’s “Hypothetical Confession”

In 2006, Simpson planned to release a book, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer, in which he laid out what would have happened if he had hypothetically committed the murders. He also spoke about the book and his account in a 2006 interview. The book’s publisher, HarperCollin, ultimately did not release the book after widespread criticism, and the interview was also pulled. The interview finally aired in 2018 as part of a Fox special titled O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? 

“Forget everything you think you know about that night because I know the facts better than anyone,” Simpson said during the interview. “This is one story the whole world got wrong.”

Related: O.J. Simpson Said He 'Had Dreams of Killing' Slain Wife Nicole Brown Simpson, Friend Claims

“Ron and Nicole were physically dead and it was almost like they killed me,” he said. “Who I was was attacked and murdered also in that short period of time.” In the interview, Simpson gave a “hypothetical confession” to the murder.

“This is very difficult for me to do this,” he said. “It was very difficult for me because it’s hypothetical. I know and I accept the fact that people are going to feel whatever way they’re going to.”

In his hypothetical, a friend named “Charlie” told him that something was happening at Nicole’s house. “In the hypothetical, I put on the cap and gloves,” Simpson said, adding, “I always kept a knife in the car for the crazies and stuff because you can’t travel with a gun.”

Then, speaking in the first person, he narrated going to the house, seeing Goldman, and “having words with him.” Nicole joined the fray. “As things got heated, I just remember that Nicole fell and hurt herself and this guy kind of got into a karate thing, and I said, ‘Well, you think you can kick my a–?’” He said he blacked out while the stabbings themselves took place.

O.J. Simpson’s Comments on the Murders After Prison

In 2008, Simpson went to prison for felony armed robbery and kidnapping after forcing men to return memorabilia he'd claimed they'd stolen from him. He served nine years behind bars, and was released on parole in 2017.

He maintained a lower profile after his release, but gave a handful of interviews, in which he avoided the topic of the murders. He told The Associated Press 25 years after the murders in 2019, “Life is fine. We don’t need to go back and relive the worst day of our lives. The subject of the moment is the subject I will never revisit again.”

During a 2021 interview with The Athletic, he said that he did not like being in Los Angeles because he could meet the real murderer — who’s identity he claimed he did not know — at any time. “I have trouble with L.A.,” he said. “People may think this is self-serving, but I might be sitting next to whoever did it. I really don't know who did this."

In 2022, Simpson was asked about the murders during an appearance on the Full Send Podcast. "Are you upset that the killer of Ron and Nicole was never found," host Kyle Forgeard asked.

"Right now, I'm not going to discuss any of that, alright?” he said. “Yeah, I think that's a pretty obvious question, but I'm not getting into that. I'm not going there.”

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