O.J. Simpson said he would never wear the “ugly-ass” Bruno Magli shoes that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s killer had worn.
In deposition tapes taken just before the civil trial in which the former star football player was found liable for their deaths, Simpson says he didn’t like “the look” or “the style” of the shoes, according to ABC News.
“I know that Bruno Magli makes shoes that look like the shoes they had in court that’s involved with this case, I would have never worn those ugly-ass shoes,” Simpson, who was found not guilty of the murders in criminal court, says in the deposition.
The shoes were a key piece of evidence in the murder case – the killer left a bloody size 12 Bruno Magli shoeprint at the scene of the crime. Attorney Daniel Petrocelli notes during the deposition that only 299 pairs of Bruno Magli shoes in that size have ever been sold in the United States.
Still, Simpson insists that he would never wear them. “They were ugly to me. Aesthetically, I felt that they were ugly and I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to me they were ugly shoes,” he says.
Except Simpson was photographed wearing Bruno Magli shoes nine months before the murders in a picture first published by The National Enquirer. During the deposition, after Simpson says the shoes were “ugly,” Petrocelli produces this photo and asks if the man in the photo is him.
“It appears to be me, yes,” a stunned Simpson answers.
“Looking at the close up of the shoes, can you believe that those were shoes that you owned at the time?” Petrocelli asks.
“No,” Simpson says.
In an interview with 20/20, Petrocelli recalled the awkward exchange. “His story was, ‘Well yeah, that’s me in the picture, but those are not my shoes,’ ” he said. “He says, ‘I don’t remember what shoes I had on that day but I didn’t have those shoes on,’ because he knew that those were the killer’s shoes.”
Tapes from the deposition and more material will be featured in the A&E documentary O.J. Speaks: The Hidden Tapes, premiering Oct. 1 at 9 p.m., and the LMN documentary The Secret Tapes of the O.J. Case: The Untold Story, which premieres Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that the tapes were newly released. They are not; portions of them aired 15 years ago on Dateline. ABC has since issued a statement to PEOPLE apologizing for the mistake. “We were wrongly under the impression these deposition tapes were exclusive and had not aired before at length. We learned this morning portions did air 15 years ago. We apologize for the mistake.”
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