During an interview from 2006, O.J. Simpson says that he feels he was “he was attacked and murdered” in the aftermath of the 1994 killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
“Ron and Nicole were physically dead and it was almost like they killed me,” he says in “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” — a two-hour special that aired Sunday night on Fox. “Who I was was attacked and murdered also in that short period time.”
The interview, which Simpson gave to then HarperCollins publisher Judith Regan, came more than a decade after the slayings of Brown Simpson, 35, and Goldman, 25, who were fatally stabbed in the courtyard of her Brentwood, California, condominium on June 12, 1994.
After the so-called “Trial of the Century” gripped the nation for nearly a year, Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995. He was found liable for the pair’s deaths in a 1997 civil trial and was ordered to pay $33.5 million to their families. He has paid them only a fraction of the money, Ron’s sister Kim Goldman previously told PEOPLE.
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In the interview, which Fox says it recently found, Simpson gives a hypothetical confession to the killings. Such a hypothetical confession was the subject of Simpson’s book about the slayings, If I Did It.
At the beginning of the interview, Simpson says, “This is very difficult for me to do this. 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.”
He says that when he got to Nicole’s condo that night in the hypothetical scenario, a man he “used to be” friends with named “Charlie” showed up.
“I don’t know why he had been by Nicole’s house, but he told me, ‘You won’t believe what’s going on over there,'” he says. “And I remember thinking, ‘Whatever’s going on over there, that has got to stop.’”
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“In the hypothetical, I put on the cap and gloves,” Simpson continues, adding, “I always kept a knife in the car for the crazies and stuff because you can’t travel with a gun.”
Simpson adds, “I remember Charlie saying, ‘You ain’t bringing that [to Nicole’s],’ and I didn’t, but I believe [Charlie] took it,” Simpson says. “In the book.”
Simpson then begins speaking in the first person, which sparked many outraged viewers on social media to say he was actually confessing to the murders.
“I go to the front and I’m looking to see what’s going on,” Simpson says.
“While I was there, a guy [Goldman] shows up. A guy I really didn’t recognize. I may have seen him around, but I really didn’t recognize him to be anyone. In the mood I was in, I started having words with him.
“Nicole had come out and we started having words about ‘Who is this guy? Why is he here? What’s going on?'” Simpson says. “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–?’ And then I remember I grabbed the knife, I do remember that portion, taking the knife from Charlie.”
In his hypothetical scenario, Simpson says he blacked out when the stabbings actually took place.
“To be honest, after that I don’t remember, except I’m standing there and there’s all kinds of stuff around …” he says.
When Regan asks him what stuff he is talking about, Simpson replies, “blood and stuff around.”
When Regan asks him if he has ever blacked out before, he says, “Not to my knowledge. Of course, if something like this were to take place in anybody’s life, if it were to happen, I would imagine it would be something you would probably have trouble wrapping your mind around. It was horrible. It was absolutely horrible.”
Simpson then says he returned to his house, parking a block away because he knew a limo that was going to take him to the airport would probably be waiting there for him. He then says he went through his neighbor’s backyard to get to his house, where he went upstairs to take a shower.
Regan and HarperCollins never published If I Did It. Outrage over the project led to HarperCollins scuttling the book, and also prompted the firing of Regan. Fox did not air the interview.
The Goldman family later published the book with a modified title as part of the civil financial judgement against Simpson in their wrongful death suit.
In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of various felony charges including kidnapping and robbery in connection with a botched Las Vegas robbery. He was granted parole in July 2017 after nearly nine years behind bars. Speaking to PEOPLE before a decision had been made about Simpson’s parole, Brown Simpson’s sister Tanya Brown said she had “learned to accept things that I cannot change or have control of.”
After learning Simpson would be freed, she said, “I will continue to still live my life as I have been doing for 23 years.”