O.J. Simpson said he avoids Los Angeles out of fear

Simpson, the infamous former NFL player, says he has fears of sitting next to his ex-wife's murderer

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O.J Simpson avoids Los Angeles because he says he might accidentally encounter the person who killed his ex-wife.

In an interview with The Athletic, where he came in as No. 41 in their ranking of the top 100 NFL players in history, Simpson exclaimed that he avoids the county located in lower California where he was accused of killing two people — one of which was his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson — because the real killer might still be out there.

“People may think this is self-serving, but I might be sitting next to whoever did it,” he said in the interview where he maintained his innocence. “I really don’t know who did this.”

OJ Simpson Trial - theGrio.com
In this March 1995 photo, former football star and actor O.J. Simpson listens to testimony during his double murder trial in Los Angeles. Kim Kardashian West’s father, Robert Kardashian Sr., was one of his defense attorneys. (Photo by Dan Mircobich/AFP/Getty Images)

Simpson was notoriously acquitted in the double murder trial in October 1995, which sparked major controversy during the time due to O.J. being a high-profile celebrity and the evidence that pointed to him being the assailant.

“I figured eventually somebody would confess to something, you know?” Simpson, whose real name is Orenthan James, continued on to say about the incident. “I had one suspect I told my lawyers to look at. I still think he might be involved, but I can’t talk about it.”

When the criminal case against Simpson first started in January 1995, Simpson was the only credible suspect and the prosecutors found a multitude of incriminating evidence to support their position.

Amongst other things, they presented Simpson’s history of domestic violence against his ex-wife, DNA evidence including blood and hair at the scene of the crime, and the infamous blood-stained glove that was found at Simpson’s residence that had DNA from his ex-wife, and Ronald Goldman, the other murder victim.

Simpson on the other hand, had an all-star legal defense, including Robert Shapiro and the late Robert Kardashian and F. Lee Bailey, who poked holes in prosecution’s case.

In addition, the race of the parties involved also played a big part in the case. Simpson, who is Black, was raised in the projects of San Francisco and became a first draft pick NFL player. His ex-wife was a white woman who met Simpson when she was 18-years-old and he was still married.

The optics of convicting a Black man for the murder of a white woman was seen by some as a typical racist trope, which stems from false stereotypes that position Black men as barbaric violent figures who uncontrollably attack on impulse. One of the most well-known accusations of Black male violence is seen in the false accusations on Emmett Till, who was tortured, shot and dragged to a lake for allegedly flirting with a white woman.

Poll data from the time showed that many Black Americans felt the verdict was accurate, while white residents thought the trial was unfair.

O.J. Simpson - theGrio.com
In this July 20, 2017, file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson appears via video for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File)

There was also fear of racial riots that could erupt after the case if the verdict was not in favor of Simpson.

As the interview continued, Simpson unabashedly added that his life is amazing, regardless of what he has been through. 

“How many Americans, even today, wouldn’t like to live my life?” he said the interviewer. “People truly care for me. You don’t know who truly cares about you until you’ve gone through some serious stuff, and I’ve gone through serious stuff. The media won’t say it, but that is my life. I’m living a good life now.”

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