CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Simpson begins deposition in wrongful death suits

January 23, 1996
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LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson was behind closed doors Monday, facing questions for the first time under oath about the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Simpson began a videotaped deposition -- expected to take several days -- at the law offices of Daniel Petrocelli, attorney for the Goldman family in the wrongful death civil cases filed against the former football star.


Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman, told reporters following Monday's session that there was "excellent progress." He said that his attorney asked Simpson "meticulous questions," but did not elaborate. Neither Simpson nor his attorneys commented at the end of the session.

Simpson, who was acquitted of the murder charges on October 3, was accompanied to the deposition by Robert Blasier, one of his attorneys in the criminal trial, and Robert Baker, retained by Simpson for the civil case.

Fred Goldman, as executor of his son's estate, was allowed to listen to the deposition. No members of the Brown family were present, although attorneys for all parties involved were at the deposition.

Dozens of reporters, photographers and camera crews staked out Petrocelli's office Monday, despite efforts by Superior Court Judge Alan Haber to keep the date and location of the deposition private. The judge has said that he will allow lawyers to release transcripts at a later date.

Also on Monday, Haber turned down an attempt by O.J. Simpson's lawyers to have one civil suit against the former football great thrown out. Simpson attorney Baker argued that Louis Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson's father, had improperly filed the civil complaint against Simpson and that Brown attorney John Quinlan Kelly, was not licensed at that time to practice law in California.


Simpson, who has not given a lengthy interview about the killings, is scheduled to speak on the cable network Black Entertainment Television Wednesday in a live interview from Los Angeles. Restrictions have been placed on the interview, according to Simpson's lead trial attorney Johnnie Cochran.

"They're going to be talking about life since the verdict," Cochran told CNN. "It's kind of appropriate to review that."

But BET network president Jeffrei Lee told CNN the interview with Simpson will "focus on Simpson's life since the verdict, but there will be questions about the trial."

The interview with BET's Ed Gordon will take place Wednesday from 10-11 p.m. and is part of a three-part special titled "O.J. Simpson: Beyond the Verdict."

Simpson never took the stand in his criminal trial and jurors never heard his only interview with police about the night of the murders.

Simpson denied having any role in the murders in a book he wrote titled "I Want to Tell You." He also recently completed a video that will be for sale to the public, denying prosecutors' contentions about the slayings.

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