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Old 05-05-2003, 06:45 PM   #1
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Now reporting from Baretta's murder trial, OJ Simpson?

OJ offers expert commentary on 'Baretta' trial
From The Sunday Times
May 05, 2003
OJ SIMPSON wants to return to the Los Angeles courtroom where he was tried for murdering his former wife.

He is offering television commentary on the approaching trial of another former actor, Robert Blake, who stands accused of a strikingly similar crime.

Two American television networks are prepared to pay Simpson $US40,000 ($64,000) a day for his recollections and insights during proceedings against Blake, the star of the television detective series Baretta, who is alleged to have shot his wife outside a restaurant two years ago.

Simpson, 55, who spends his days playing golf and arguing with his family in Florida, said last week that he would like to talk to Blake before making any final decision on broadcasting.

Blake is being held in the same cell occupied by Simpson before his own televised trial in 1995.

"I do not know if Robert Blake is innocent or guilty very few people can know that for sure but I do know what it is like to be hounded and treated unfairly," said Simpson, whose pledges to find his former wife's "real" murderer have been mocked by critics.

"I want to remind people that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty, otherwise we are all in trouble. My first reaction was an immediate feeling of compassion because I knew what he was about to go through."

Simpson advised Blake not to take a lie-detector test, watch television or blacken his wife's name in public: "It just makes you look bad."

The former actor said he "loves the world of television" but denied reports he was involved in a prospective 13-hour reality series compiled from film taken of him in public over the past three years. "Who would want to watch 13 hours of me at a golf club?" he said.

The networks are nervous about public reaction to employing Simpson, who moved to Miami after he was cleared of stabbing Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman to death. He was held liable for their deaths in a subsequent civil case and ordered to pay $50 million in damages to the Brown family and a further $15 million to the Goldmans.

In the late 1960s, when Charles Manson was tried for the slaughter of Sharon Tate, the wife of the film director Roman Polanski, television stations started employing retired judges to explain legal tactics to television viewers. But employing Simpson, who has no legal training and is regarded by many people with suspicion, marks a new departure for the US media.

Simpson, a former football star who acted in the Naked Gun comedy films, needs the money. "He is not exactly a hot commodity at the moment," said a source close to him. "There are questions about a TV gig and he obviously can bring a unique perspective, but nothing has been signed yet. Watch this space."

Simpson has rarely been out of the newspapers since his trial. He was accused of losing his temper and tearing off a motorist's glasses during an alleged road rage incident in 2000. The charges were dismissed. Two months later, FBI agents searched his home for evidence related to a drug-smuggling gang, although no charges followed. Last November, he was fined $218 for speeding in a powerboat through a waterway reserved for manatees.

Police have been called to his house at least four times to investigate reports of violent rows with his girlfriend and his teenage daughter.

Blake earned his highest critical praise in 1967 for playing a killer in the true-crime film In Cold Blood, before becoming the television detective Tony Baretta. He was largely forgotten in Hollywood until May 2001, when his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, was murdered outside the Los Angeles restaurant where they had had a meal.

Blake, now 69, said he had walked her to their car and then returned to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he had left behind. When he got back to the car he found Bakley mortally wounded, he told police.

Prosecutors said he had hated his "social climber" wife, having married her the year before only because she was pregnant, and had talked to his handyman about arranging a "hit" on her.

The actor denies all charges but a few months before the murder he told an interviewer that he had suffered "dark troubles" dating back to his childhood. "Being locked in closets and beat up and burnt and sexual stuff, but then to come out from all that is lovely. Most people like me end up in prison on death row," he said.

When his trial opens in October, it is expected to attract higher ratings than Baretta.

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Old 05-05-2003, 06:49 PM   #2
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As if we need another reason to hate sensationalized Hollywood criminal proceedings.....

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Old 05-05-2003, 08:49 PM   #3
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Maybe they can bring Scott Peterson in for the non-Hollywood accused wife killer's point of view
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:51 PM   #4
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OJ will certainly be able to offer "expert" commentary as far as the killing of wives goes.
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Old 05-05-2003, 09:14 PM   #5
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i could not even begin to comment on this.
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Old 05-07-2003, 04:18 PM   #6
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What a pompous ...........

I saw Kim Goldman on the coverage of the Laci Peterson memorial service. My heart still aches for that girl and the Hell she was put through, including that sicko taunting her during the trial.
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Old 05-07-2003, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Now reporting from Baretta's murder trial, OJ Simpson?

Originally posted by Dreadsox
Simpson, 55, who spends his days playing golf and arguing with his family in Florida
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Old 05-07-2003, 04:41 PM   #8
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Yes, his daugher Sidney recently called the police over an argument they had.

I can't recall exactly what she said on the 911 tape, but I believe he said something to the effect that he didn't love her..that poor girl

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