The twentieth anniversary of the O.J. Simpson trial is drawing near and new details surrounding the disgraced athlete and the moments before and after his iconic car chase are now coming to light.
In a special by ABC News’ 20/20, deposition tapes, interviews with the families of victims Nicole Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman, and commentary from journalist Lawrence Schiller have given new perspective on the case that divided a nation in 1995. Schiller released American Tragedy: The Uncensored Story of the O.J. Simpson Defense in 1996, offering up an even larger view of the case and all its players, including O.J.’s “dream team” of lawyers: the late Johnny Cochran and Rob Kardashian, Robert Shapiro, and Alan Dershowitz.
Perhaps most surprisingly, Schiller recently told 20/20 Kardashian convinced Simpson not to kill himself the day he was scheduled to turn himself over to the police–also the day of his infamous Bronco chase. In a recording obtained by Schiller, Simpson is heard threatening to end his life in the childhood bedroom of Kim Kardashian.
ABC News reports:
“Oh boy, I don’t know how I ended up here,” Simpson is heard saying on the recording. “Please remember me as ‘The Juice.’ Please remember me as a good guy. Don’t remember me as one of the negatives that might end up here. Please, please, please, please leave my kids at peace. I love everybody.”
“He was recording this almost like a suicide tape,” Schiller told “20/20.” “That’s what O.J. intended to be his final words.”
Robert, who was considered a close friend of Simpson’s, found him moments after he made the recording with a gun and photos of his children and ex-wife.
“Then O.J. said, ‘I’m going to kill myself in this room,’ and I said, ‘You can’t.’ I said, ‘This is my daughter’s bedroom,’” Kardashian told Schiller. “‘My little girl Kim sleeps here. I can’t have my little girl in this bedroom, and every time I come in here, I’m going to see your body lying in this. You can’t do that.’”
Kris Jenner, who was best friends with Nicole at the time, said she wishes she would have been more attentive and regrets not speaking up when she believed Nicole needed her the most.
Simpson’s fate would later be placed in the hands of the jury, who eventually acquitted him of murder. Over ten years later, he would be sentenced to time in prison for stealing memorabilia of his own from a Las Vegas hotel room.
Schiller is gearing up to unveil two new documentaries about the case airing next week on A&E and LMN.