O.J. Simpson Interview to Air on Fox


  LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A 2006 interview where O.J. Simpson gives a hypothetical account of the events that occurred on the night his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were slain, will be shown for the first time tonight.

The interview with publisher Judith Regan will air from 8-10 p.m. on Fox, which has titled the special, ``O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?'' The planned showing in 2006 of the interview -- then titled, ``O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened'' -- was canceled a week before it was to air by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch also dropped plans by a publishing company -- whose parent company is News Corp.-- to publish the book Simpson had written, ``If I Did It.''

Murdoch apologized and called the project ``ill-considered.''

``I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project,'' Murdoch said in a statement at the time. ``We are sorry for any pain this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.''

A federal bankruptcy judge in 2007 awarded the rights to the book to the Goldman family. Ron Goldman's father Fred arranged for it to be published under the new title, ``If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.''

Terence Wrong, the executive producer of tonight's special, said he received a ``no-pressure invitation to come out to the Fox lot'' by Rob Wade, the Fox Broadcasting Co.'s president, alternative entertainment & specials, to view the tapes of the interview and evaluate them.

``I was hooked,'' Wrong said on a conference call with reporters last week. ``It was riveting television, can't turn away. The cliche would be ``car crash TV,'' but ... he sucks you in. O.J. (is) charismatic and charming and at the same time there's something a little manic and a little disturbing -- or a lot disturbing.

``I knew I'd never seen anything like it and I knew it would be a unique contribution to what people understand or know about the O.J. Simpson case.''

After watching tapes of the interview, Wrong called it ``a little eerie to be inside his head for so many hours, just listening to the stream of consciousness come out of his mouth, because that's the way he talks.''

``There are a million parentheticals, and he just zigs and zags to one subject after another, and it's disturbing,'' said Wrong, an executive producer of the ABC documentary series ``Hopkins,'' ``Boston Med'' and ``NY Med.''

Simpson was acquitted in October 1995 of criminal charges in the June 12, 1994, killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman in front of her Brentwood residence. A civil court jury, however, found him responsible for the killings and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in restitution to the victims' families.

The Goldman family has collected some money over the years.

The special is hosted by former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien. Christopher Darden, a prosecutor in Simpson's criminal trial, will be among the program's analysts, along with Regan, Eve Shakti Chen, a representative of Nicole Brown Simpson's family, Rita Smith, an anti-domestic violence advocate, and Jim Clemente, a retired FBI profiler.

``O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?'' will air with limited interruptions and feature public service announcements on domestic violence awareness throughout the program, according to Fox.


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