Transcript for O.J. Simpson Takes the Stand: What Happened in Hotel Room Hold-Up?
From the fans who cheered him during his days with the Buffalo Bills to that droves at -- outside that California courtroom awaiting the verdict in -- headline grabbing 1995 murder trial. OJ Simpson is no stranger crowd's cheers and jeers. And tonight as embattled star finds himself in the public eye once again facing life in prison but testifying on camera for the very first time. ABC's Neal Karlinsky. Watching OJ Simpson take the stand one hand left for -- the other shackled it's hard to imagine this aging inmates is this same man who's been the symbol of the nation's racial divide. And would you please tell her how old you are today from. For all of Simpson's escapades all the trouble in tabloid mayhem he's been embroiled in. Today marked the very first time he's ever testified in any of -- criminal cases that your voice is pretty room. -- -- -- Simpson wound up convicted of robbery and kidnapping while trying to get back his own mementos. Guilty for my stuff. I followed. But I vote at all smuggling -- you can bring him. Simpson is in court to argue an age old complaint that his lawyer Yale Galanter did a terrible job defending -- and that's why he's in prison today. The key complaints that Galanter didn't put Simpson on the stands to cover the fact that. He had reportedly given cents in the green light for his questionable plan. And that he didn't tell Simpson -- -- possible plea deal at the time that could have gotten -- much lighter sentence than -- nine to 33 years he's now serving. If you had heard about. A plea offer from encountered robbery would you have taken that. Solutions. His new attorneys hope to win -- in a new trial for this bungled sports memorabilia heist captured on camera in a Las Vegas hotel. At gunpoint -- OJ -- peace and a piece of leisure police chief Larry you. We looked -- little room people -- look Real Madrid fault of the global three. It's been nineteen years since OJ Simpson Heisman Trophy winner and former star NFL running back turned actor -- -- -- -- -- naked gun. -- accused of the brutal murders of his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. We just received information that the person in that car -- it is OJ Simpson reportedly has a gun to his head. Nineteen years since OT captivated the country in that slow speed police chase through Los Angeles. As TV cameras followed from helicopters. In pursuit of that now infamous white Ford Bronco. Over the course of the next -- the nation followed the sensational proceedings dubbed the trial of the century. An event that was carried live gavel to gavel on television believe that complete -- cast of characters straight out of a crime drama who can forget -- go Hokies defense team would have been dubbed the judge and UT eight -- -- If it doesn't fit. You must acquit. Counselors -- -- -- we need to take -- -- inflate figures to and then the verdict that would cause millions to stop whatever they were doing find a television set. And watch. We the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder. The emotional reaction inside the courtroom was matched outside. The verdict exposed to nations still divided along racial lines with many African Americans jubilant at the acquittal. I didn't -- that the -- -- and others in shock at his release. I was absolutely disgusted. After -- mountains of evidence that -- been leveled against him. The family of Ron Goldman and especially his sister Kim sinking grief while the browns sat in shock. Simpson's family cried for joy and the defendant who seemed stunned at first. Lips in -- thanks to the jury that it set him free. In 1997 -- -- took the stand in a civil suit filed by the murder victims' families but it wasn't done camera. He was found guilty for the wrongful death and battery of Ronald Goldman and the -- of Nicole Brown Simpson. It was ordered to pay a 33 and a half million dollar penalty but he's NFL pension was protected under California law. Then in 2007 came the book if I did it a supposedly imaginary account of how Simpson might have committed the murders. Since -- originally published the book with a division of Rupert Murdoch's fox corporation. To the outrage of the Goldman family. Who described it as a way to profit from a thinly veiled admission of murder. The book executive was plain -- and Goldman won rights to the book and all the money it makes Fred Goldman spoke to Nightline in 2007. He's proven to the world for years that he thinks he can do whatever he wants. And the system has let him do it. Throughout the -- Simpson seemed to lose animated it almost anxious to talk even joking about drinking too much the afternoon -- for the boxed in bizarre robbery that put him behind bars. I hear a joke when doctors presenter. That the glass is what we're told woods -- -- We -- children. Famed trial attorney Mark Geragos wants Simpson's long awaited testimony today. I think so far today he looks a heck of a lot better than he did during the civil trial today at least so far. He's come off as fairly credible. Years ago there was concern that putting Simpson on the stand could open him up to -- comfortable questions about his past. But attorney said the judge this week it wouldn't allow it I know people don't like to hear this this case in this sentence. I think -- obvious payback for the acquittal in the case in no way. Today Simpson's life includes reading golf magazines and watching TV inside a six by ten foot cell -- he has a sell me ten uses. The bottom bunk. Thank you looks like it hasn't -- man. -- that basically the system even -- that. His close friend Tom Scotto says Simpson is aging rapidly in his new life. What's his life in prison for his life is -- is working that the German he's in charge of the gym because of -- baseball team. Jail. He's just trying to live his life there and that's where Stewart. In court today he struggled with his handcuffs at one point -- get a drink of water. But otherwise seemed like a man -- For those hoping for something more his testimony won't answer any of the old questions. It's just a last ditch attempt at freedom for a man who won't get his first shot at parole until. I'm Neal Karlinsky for Nightline in Las Vegas.
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