Ex-DA Gil Garcetti Reveals Detail He Learned From 'OJ: Made in America' Documentary

Garcetti is a former Los Angeles district attorney.

June 9, 2016, 7:52 AM

— -- The Los Angeles district attorney who served during the O.J. Simpson murder trial said he learned a detail about the case's infamous glove incident while watching the upcoming ESPN documentary "O.J.: Made in America."

"It was never supposed to happen," Gil Garcetti said today on "Good Morning America," referring to the moment in the 1994 murder trial when the prosecution asked Simpson to try on a bloody black leather glove found at the scene of the slaying of Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

The glove did not fit on Simpson's hand, leading his defense attorney Johnnie Cochran to utter one of the defining lines of the trial, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."

"Chris Darden and Marcia Clarke were never supposed to ask O.J. to try on the glove," Garcetti said, referring to the trial's prosecutors. "He had probably been working out his hand, developing muscle in his hand, and we knew that the glove would shrink. It’d been in the elements. It’s leather.

"What we didn’t know until I saw it on this film was that O.J. Simpson was taking arthritic medication for his hands and he was told, 'If you stop taking this arthritic medication, your hands will swell. Your joints will stiffen.' My God," Garcetti said.

Defense Team 'Baited' Prosecutors

Simpson's legal team was led by Cochran, along with Robert Kardashian and Robert Shapiro. Garcetti said the defense team may have "baited" Clarke and Darden into asking Simpson to try on the glove.

"Did it tick me off? And I would use a different word. Yes, it did," Garcetti said. "But I can’t say it’s really crossing the line. They did everything in their power. They got away with a lot, but we were baited into perhaps even having him try on the glove in the first place."

Garcetti served as the Los Angeles district attorney from 1992 to 2000. His appearance in the ESPN documentary is his first broadcast interview about the Simpson case since 2001.

The ESPN documentary traces Simpson’s stardom in the NFL and crossover success as an actor and TV pitchman to his 2008 convictions for robbery and kidnapping.

The once beloved football player became infamous for beating murder charges in Brown Simpson's and Goldman's 1994 deaths. He was acquitted in the sensational 1995 criminal trial but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil suit brought by the victims' families.

'Expected a Hung Trial'

Garcetti said he never felt the Simpson murder trial was "not winnable."

"We knew we’d win the case," he said. "Once we had the jury we had, we knew we weren’t going to get a guilty verdict in the first case. We expected a hung jury and then the sympathy towards O.J. Simpson would dissipate and we knew we’d find more evidence, specifically the Bruno Magli shoes that he claimed he never owned."

Garcetti also said that Clarke was not his first choice to lead the case.

"Marcia is a fabulous lawyer, but I’d picked Bill Hodgman to be the lead prosecutor," Garcetti said. Hodgman was the deputy district attorney at the time. "He had all the talent and characteristics I felt that were necessary for this particular case."

Race Relations

The documentary also examines the racial tensions that prevailed in Los Angeles at the time of the trial.

"It was much deeper and hit a vibrant chord, especially in the black community, than I expected," Garcetti said of the trial's impact.

Simpson, 68, is now serving 33 years for armed robbery. He was arrested in 2007 for breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room at gunpoint with a group of men to steal sports memorabilia.

“O.J.: Made in America” is directed by Peabody and Emmy Award winner Ezra Edelman.

Gil Garcetti said it was his son, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who persuaded him to speak with Edelman for the documentary.

"Ezra, the director, had contacted me and had a number of conversations with me, and I continued to say no, as I had for 21 years," Gil Garcetti said. "It was my son who said, ‘Dad, it’s time for you to speak. No one knows the facts that you know, and I think you can really trust Ezra to do a professional job.'"

Part one of the five-part series premieres Saturday, June 11, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. The full episodic documentary will then air on several dates from June 14 to 18 on ESPN.

ESPN is owned by the Walt Disney Co., the parent company of ABC News.

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