Although O.J. Simpson was found not guilty in the famous and much-disputed 1995 criminal case involving the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, he lost a wrongful death civil suit brought against him by their families in 1997.
Attorney Daniel Petrocelli had never tried a wrongful death case before representing the Goldmans in their suit. Simpson never took the stand at the criminal trial, so a jury would be hearing from him for the first time under oath.
“That was going to be the moment of truth… to put Simpson under oath and examine him,” Petrocelli told ABC News “20/20” in a recent interview.
Petrocelli deposed Simpson for 13 days prior to the civil trial. The video tapes from this deposition will be featured in the A&E documentary, “O.J. Speaks: The Hidden Tapes,” which premieres Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET., and the LMN documentary “The Secret Tapes of the O.J. Case: The Untold Story,” which premieres Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. (Both A&E and LMN are partly owned by ABC News' parent company, Disney.)
In these deposition tapes, Petrocelli is seen grilling Simpson about his alleged role in the murders, covering everything from physical evidence to photographs of Simpson’s shoes.
Here are some of Simpson’s responses to Petrocelli’s line of questioning during the deposition:
1. O.J. Simpson’s Response to Where He Was the Night of the Murders
Throughout the deposition, Fred Goldman said Simpson was flippant and gave mostly short “no, maybe, yes” answers to his questions. “Nothing was serious to him,” Goldman told “20/20.”
On the tapes, Simpson tells Petrocelli, “Ask me the question like they asked me and I’ll give you an answer,” referring to how police detectives asked him questions during an interrogation.
When Petrocelli asks where Simpson was the night of the murders between 10 and 11 p.m., Simpson responded, “I don’t know if they asked me that question. I was home.”
“They did ask you. What did you say?” Petrocelli responds.
“I don’t recall if they asked me so I don’t know what I said. What don’t you ask me?” Simpson says.
Petrocelli: “I just did, where were—“
Simpson pushes back, “Why don’t you ask me?”
2. O.J. Simpson on Blood Found in the White Bronco
The O.J. Simpson car chase is one of the most infamous police chases in criminal justice history.
On June 17, 1994, Simpson was ordered to surrender to police to be arrested for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. That afternoon, Simpson and his friend and former pro-football teammate Al Cowlings jumped into Cowlings’ white Ford Bronco and led police on a low-speed chase for hours on the Los Angeles freeways. Television news stations provided non-stop coverage of the chase until Simpson finally surrendered at his estate that evening.
In the deposition tapes for the Goldmans’ civil suit, Petrocelli asks Simpson if he knew why there was blood found on the Bronco’s console that “was consistent with a mixture” of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s blood.
Simpson replied, “No.”
3. O.J. Simpson’s Response to Photos of an Allegedly Battered Nicole Brown Simpson
During the deposition, Petrocelli quizzed Simpson on his and Nicole’s relationship and showed him police photographs of Nicole with a bruised face and a cut lip. Simpson denies hitting his ex-wife and claims he thought what Petrocelli was calling “bruises” on Nicole’s face was actually make-up.
Petrocelli: “Do you see those bruises on her face?”
Petrocelli: “You don’t see anything?”
Simpson: “No, I mean, I see this eye thing.”
Petrocelli: “You don’t think this picture reflects any bruising or injuries or marks on Nicole’s face?”
Simpson: “No, I don’t.”
Petrocelli: “What do you think this reflects?”
Simpson: “It reflects doing a movie that we’re doing and we’re doing make-up.”
4. O.J. Simpson’s Response to Hurting Nicole Brown Simpson
Eventually in the deposition, Simpson admits to hurting his ex-wife, but won’t say how he hurt her.
Petrocelli: “You never struck anyone in their face, correct?”
Petrocelli: “And you never hurt your wife either, correct?"
Simpson: “No, I hurt my wife, yes.”
Simpson then goes on to tell Petrocelli that he never struck his wife, but when Petrocelli asks Simpson again if he had ever hurt her, Simpson says, “Yes.”
Petrocelli: “Did you physically hurt her?”
Petrocelli: “Did you ever bruise her?”
Petrocelli: “Did you ever make her black and blue?”
Simpson: “I think any marks that’s on her, I take full responsibility for. I don’t know what else you want to do. I take total responsibility.”
Simpson: “Because I shouldn’t have handled the situation the way I did. I’ve—all my life with Nicole, no matter what was going on, I handled it without being physical with her. And that time I got physical with her and I’m ashamed of it. I wish it not had happened.”
Petrocelli then clarifies that he is not asking Simpson about the moral responsibility of Nicole’s death, but asking for Simpson to tell him what happened the night she was killed. So he tries to ask him again about hurting Nicole on prior occasions in the years before her murder.
Petrocelli: “You had your fingers around her throat, correct?”
Simpson: “I could have touched her neck, yes.”
Petrocelli: “What do you mean, you could have touched her?”
Simpson: “I could have.”
Petrocelli: “—violent episode, wasn’t it?”
Simpson: “Yes, it was.”
Petrocelli: “And rage is a fair description of your state of mind, correct?”
Simpson: No, it was not.”
Petrocelli: “Not anger?”
Simpson: “Anger, yes.”
Petrocelli: “Intense anger?”
Petrocelli then asks Simpson, “angry enough to hit her?” but Simpson’s attorney Bob Baker then put an end to the line of questioning.
5. O.J. Simpson on ‘Bleeding’ The Night of the Murders
During the deposition, Petrocelli asks Simpson if he remembered cutting his finger the night that Nicole was killed. Simpson responds, “I remember bleeding.”
Petrocelli then asks Simpson if he cut his finger on a piece of glass. Simpson says “yeah,” then asks to take a break. After Petrocelli agrees, Simpson mutters “Jesus Christ.”
6. O.J. Simpson on the Bruno Magli Shoe Print Found at Crime Scene
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s killer left a key piece of evidence at the crime scene -- a men’s size 12 Bruno Magli brand shoe print stamped in the victims’ blood.
Only 9 percent of the U.S. population wears a size 12 shoe, according to Petrocelli, and only 299 pairs of Bruno Magli shoes in that size have ever been sold in the U.S., meaning it’s not a common shoe, Petrocelli said.
During the deposition, Petrocelli asks Simpson if he ever bought Bruno Magli shoes. Simpson says, “No.”
“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 says.
When Petrocelli presses Simpson to elaborate on why he thought they were ugly, Simpson says he didn’t like “the look of them, the style of them.”
“They were ugly to me. Esthetically, 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 said.
7. O.J. Simpson on The National Enquirer Photo Showing Him Wearing Bruno Magli Shoes
After Simpson says he thought the Bruno Magli shoes were “ugly,” Petrocelli shows him a photograph, which was first published in the National Enquirer, showing Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes at a football game nine months before the murders.
“His story was, ‘well yeah, that’s me in the picture, but those are not my shoes,’” Petrocelli told “20/20.” “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.”
During the deposition, Petrocelli asks Simpson if the man in the photo was him. “It appears to be me, yes,” Simpson responded. Petrocelli goes on to ask Simpson if he could describe the jacket he is wearing in the photo and asks if he remembered wearing it. To both questions, Simpson just says, “No.” Then Petrocelli brings up the shoes again.
Petrocelli: “Looking at the close up of the shoes, can you believe that those were shoes that you owned at the time?”
By the time the civil trial began in 1997, 30 more photographs of Simpson wearing the same Bruno Magli shoes were entered into evidence.