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Simpson Speaks

Saturday, June 12, 2004, marks the 10th anniversary of the brutal murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. In an interview with Court TV's Catherine Crier, the man charged with (and ultimately acquitted of) killing them, O.J. Simpson, said the date of their deaths holds little meaning for him now.

Said Simpson, "If it wasn't for the media or if I wasn't blamed, I probably would have trouble remembering June 12. But obviously, it's impressed on my memory because I hear it all the time and because of the trial and all."

Crier has interviewed Simpson before, she told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm, and she says of this week's interview, "I really think there are moments he truly believes -- not just trying to manipulate or mislead -- but truly believes some of the more interesting, astounding facts that he asserts."

Does Crier think Simpson is delusional?

"I'm not a psychiatrist," she replies.

Storm, saying she finds it very interesting that Simpson saw the date of his wife's death as insignificant, asked Crier what her impression are of how Simpson feels about losing his ex-wife and mother of his children.

Says Crier, "He vacillates… At the very end, he talks about how much he loved her. In the middle, he talks about despite the fact they had been separated and divorced and she was off doing horrible things, he was going to kill himself to be with Nicole."

In the interview, Simpson said that he never has spoken to his children in the last 10 years about the death of their mother. He said that he has been advised to wait until the children ask.

Simpson told Crier that the advice is: "The day they ask, no matter what you're doing, don't say, 'Wait till we get home.' … Whatever you're doing, drop it, take them somewhere and talk to them about it."

His daughter, Sydney, is 18, and his son, Justin, is 16.

Says Crier, "I made the comment (that) psychiatrists would never make any money if (they) told people, 'Don't talk about it until you feel like it.' Here, these children have supposedly been through therapy. He's spent a lot of money. This is the advice... most of us are aghast at the notion they've never even asked. Losing one's mother in a circumstance like this has to be way up in the top of the list, in terms of traumas a child can experience."

Storm says many viewers got the sense during Crier's interview that Simpson would have been happy to talk for hours. What was his motivation in granting the interview?

"Well, I think there's the obvious motivation that he'll express to you and there are the underlying (motivations)."

Simpson said that by granting interviews on the 10th anniversary of the murders, he was hoping to assuage the expected media frenzy and keep reporters and photographers away from his house.

Crier adds, "I also think that O.J. Simpson basks in the limelight, and I think somewhere inside of him, if he talks enough, he thinks people will believe him."

Simpson had a complicated relationship with Nicole, and he told Crier: "I gotta tell you something. And I remember the last day we were at (divorce) court. I mean, we were talking about maybe we shouldn't do this. We both had a little doubt, but she wanted to go through it. For two or three months, I tried to talk her out of it, until she told me she was interested in another guy. From that moment on, till the day she died, I never made any overt effort for us to get back together.

"When people talk about a divorce," Simpson concluded, "I wish every American could have had the divorce that we had."

On many occasions during his interview with Crier, Simpson implicated the people with whom Nicole was keeping company at the time of her death, saying that they were doing drugs, that they were involved in her death. Does Crier believe that scenario?

"I'm not sure how much he believes that," Crier says. She asked him why, since he was so worried, he didn't remove the children from Nicole's home, and his reply was that he had only started to worry in May (just before the murders) and he was away shooting a movie and was not able to get back home.

"The story changes to fit the question," Crier adds.

In a separate interview, former prosecutor Marcia Clark talked exclusively with "Entertainment Tonight"'s Bob Goen about being on the losing end of the trial of the century.

Goen: "Marcia, did O.J. Simpson get away with murder?"

Clark: "In my opinion, absolutely."

She tells Goen that she thought the case would be a "slam dunk. It sounded like a domestic violence murder, in which a young man -- a very innocent young man (Ron Goldman) -- happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time… I am deeply sorry for the fact that Simpson is walking around today. I'm deeply sorry for the tragic deaths of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman."

Crier tells Storm that she agrees "it was a classic domestic abuse case, and the prosecution, first of all, assumed an awful lot. Secondly, got caught up in the minutiae. They were trying so hard to respond to the defense every time they took them down a rabbit trail. The trial became so convoluted when it was relatively simple, and Johnnie Cochran and the crew were able to make hay with every slip."

Does it demonstrate how difficult it is for the prosecution to obtain a conviction in a criminal case?

"There's more than evidence. There are all sorts of psychologies and other factors going into a trial," says Crier, adding that the trial of O.J. Simpson was the best example of that.

"You've got to be careful that you present your evidence, and that the jury's there, listening to you."

You can see more of Bob Goen's exclusive interview with Marcia Clark Thursday night on "Entertainment Tonight." Check local listings.

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