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O.J. Simpson, 25 years after grisly killings: 'Life is fine'

O.J. Simpson, who was infamously acquitted in the deaths of his estranged wife and his estranged wife's friend, isn't interested in revisiting that part of his life — or so he told the Associated Press in a story published earlier this week.

“We don’t need to go back and relive the worst day of our lives,” he said. “The subject of the moment is the subject I will never revisit again. My family and I have moved on to what we call the ‘no negative zone.’ We focus on the positives.”

The AP reached out to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson — they didn't respond to requests for comments — and of Ron Goldman, whose sister is understandably upset with the way things have turned out.

Simpson has only rarely spoken to the media in the years since his release from prison over burglary charges unrelated to the death of Brown and Goldman. In 2018, he spoke at length with The Buffalo News, setting only one condition: that he not be asked about the murders.

"I get so many offers to talk," Simpson, 70, said at the time, "but everybody wants to talk about the crap."

In the wide-ranging interview published March 16, 2018, Simpson talked about life in prison; his concerns about CTE, the degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head; his football career; going to a bar to watch the Bills' first playoff appearance in 18 years; and more. Here's how it begins:

The O.J. Simpson interview: On prison, "retirement" and football

"LAS VEGAS — The dishwasher was chirping, and he couldn't figure out how to turn it off. The thermostat was a mystery. A freshly discovered leak dripped from a large stain in the garage ceiling, and he couldn't locate the cause.

"He hunched as he moved around the house, smoothly but with a shuffle more than a glide. Reading glasses perched on his salt-and-pepper head. He wore a black button-up sweater over a white golf shirt, black slacks, black Nike sneakers.

"He looked like Mr. Rogers, not the running back who once scored 23 touchdowns in a season, not one of the most infamous men on the planet.

"But that baritone voice, that incandescent smile. Yes, this was O.J. Simpson.

"And he was ready to sit and talk."

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•••

There are other Buffalo connections to the case. A photograph taken by News Photographer Harry Scull Jr., then working for the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly, was instrumental in the civil trial that followed the criminal trial. Scull later wrote about how the picture ended up in  the National Enquirer.

Before the civil trial started, my good friend and my attorney Michael O’Connor reached out to John Kelly, who was handling part of the civil trial for the Brown family. They talked. Mr. Kelly and his associate flew to Buffalo, and we talked and had dinner and moved forward. He said we helped hand the case to them on a silver platter. I was grateful I was able to help them. I never heard from the attorneys again.

When they won that civil trial, my name wasn’t mentioned once. I would have liked to have gotten a thank you. I had had my credibility and professionalism questioned. I had investigators calling my mom digging for information about me. I have no interest in going through that again.

Hindsight being 20/20, I would never do it again.

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•••

In 2005, Simpson briefly set off a stir when he visited Lockport, leading to speculation that he was looking for a home there to be near a girlfriend. The Buffalo News published a story saying that on Oct. 29, 2005. That same morning — 7:30 a.m., in fact — Simpson called The News, looking to set the record straight. He spoke with former News reporter Henry Davis, who later shared the story.

My phone was ringing, O.J. Simpson was on the other line, and I had no idea what he wanted.

“Hello, Henry Davis,” I said.

“Hey, it’s O.J. Good morning,” said Simpson in his deep voice. “Can I call you Hank?

My grandmother called me Hank, and that was about it with a few brief exceptions here and there. It seemed strangely casual to start our conversation that way, but I wasn’t going to make an issue of it.

I took a sip of coffee and said, “Sure.”

Simpson told me he was calling from his home in Miami, Fla., and he wanted to set the record straight.

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