Nicole Brown Simpson's Sister Tanya Speaks Out About New TV Series on O.J. Simpson Murder Trial: 'Who Is Defending My Sister?'
21 years later, family and friends remember the victims at the center of the controversial case that became known as "The Trial of the Century"
[BRIGHTCOVE “INSERT v6 HERE” “” “20982715” “auto” ]On the night of June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, 35, and Ron Goldman, 25, were found brutally murdered in the courtyard of her Brentwood, Calif. condo. The killings shocked the quiet, upscale community – as did the arrest of Nicole’s ex-husband, O.J. Simpson, a celebrated and beloved football star who had become even more famous for his roles in commercials and The Naked Gun movies. And as the world watched on live TV, O.J. was found not guilty of the murders in a trial followed by millions.
“My God, what a circus,” Nicole’s younger sister Tanya, 46, tells PEOPLE. “It was crazy.”
Beginning Feb. 2, FX will begin airing The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, a riveting 10-part series that re-creates the notorious trial, with a star-studded cast including Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J., John Travolta as defense attorney Robert Shapiro and Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark. The series does not portray the victims “out of respect” to them says executive producer Brad Simpson, adding that the families “have wounds that will never heal.”
But the families of Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman tell PEOPLE they have concerns the series may not accurately portray their loved ones since no one reached out to them about the show.
“They didn’t take the families into consideration,” Tanya says. “Who is defending my sister?”
For more from those closest to Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman on their lives, deaths and the trial that shocked the nation, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
Ron’s father, Fred Goldman, 75, also wonders how much of the show will be fictionalized.
“You are going to have people basing their beliefs on a movie,” he says of the new generation that will be introduced to the case through the FX series. “Last time I checked, we don’t rely on movies for facts.”
Executive producer Brad Simpson says they purposefully did not reach out to anyone who was involved in the case.
“We used Jeffrey Toobin’s 1996 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson and court transcripts as our guide,” he says.
Healing has been difficult for Tanya and her family, she says. “Losing Nicole was painful for me of course, but seeing my parents – and the kids – go through what they went through was horrendous. That was my pain, really.”
Despite all they have been through, Nicole’s children, Sydney and Justin, now 30 and 27, are doing well, says Tanya. “They are so grounded,” she says. “I am so proud of what and who they become.”
For Tanya, the mini-series just brings back bad memories. “I don’t wish what my family went through on my biggest enemy,” she says.
Nicole and Ron’s murders and the trial were “hell, but we survived and we are thriving, but the crazy thing is that I don’t think it will ever go away.”