People takes a look back at the key players in the high-profile case – and gives an update on their lives today

By Steve Helling
Updated January 28, 2016 01:20 PM
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Credit: Michael Schwartz/WireImage; Tibrina Hobson/WireImage; Steve Granitz/WireImage

They were regular people living ordinary lives, until the O.J. Simpson trial thrust them into the national spotlight. In the mid 1990s, the lawyers, witnesses and even the judge became household names – whether they liked it or not.

More than two decades later, they’ve moved on and have built new lives for themselves – but they will always be remembered for their involvement in one of the most explosive trials of the 20th century.

PEOPLE looks at where some of the key players are today.

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For an update on more of the trial’s key players, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

Marcia Clark

As the head prosecutor, Clark was parodied on Saturday Night Live and critiqued for her hairstyle on the E! Network. After Simpson’s acquittal, she left the prosecutor’s office and authored a book, Without A Doubt, about the trial. Now 62, she works as an occasional TV correspondent and commentator, but has largely turned to fiction writing. Her ninth novel, Blood Defense, will be released in May.

Lance Ito

The presiding judge faced widespread criticism when he allowed cameras inside the courtroom, a move that has forever changed how criminal trials are publicized. The constant television coverage made Ito a household name – remember Jay Leno’s “Dancing Itos?” Now 65, Ito has retired from the bench and gives very few media interviews. He lives a quiet life with his wife, Margaret, a former detective.

Robert Shapiro

After the trial, defense attorney Robert Shapiro maintained his high profile, representing clients like Darryl Strawberry, Johnny Carson and Eva Longoria. The 73-year-old attorney still practices law. He’s also an entrepreneur who founded several companies, including LegalZoom.com. In addition to his for-profit work, he has created the Brent Shapiro Foundation to help people who struggle with addiction. (The foundation is named after his son, who died in 2005 after an overdose.)

Kato Kaelin

He was the house guest who spent four days on the witness stand. After the trial, he appeared extensively on reality shows and sitcoms. Now 56, Kaelin lives in Los Angeles and has recently started his own clothing line, Slacker Wear.

Denise Brown

On the stand, Denise Brown spoke extensively about the alleged domestic abuse that her sister Nicole suffered at the hands of O.J. Simpson. Today, the 58-year-old runs the Nicole Brown Foundation, an organization that helps domestic violence victims.