The O.J. Simpson trial impacted the nation and millions waited on the edge of their seats for a verdict to come down. The premiere of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story reopened emotional wounds, bringing the case back to the forefront of the news and again polarizing millions.
The Simpson and Goldman family weren’t the only people directly affected by the heinous murders. It changed the lives of everyone involved. The “Dream Team” was celebrated and unfamiliar faces like Kato Kaelin were thrust into the limelight.
Here’s a list of all the people who became famous from their involvement in the O.J. case.
Johnnie Cochran was a respected civil rights lawyer before taking on the O.J. Simpson case, but his involvement in the trial of the century catapulted him into the national spotlight. Cochran’s polarizing defense led to the Hall-of-Famer’s acquittal and solidified him as one of the most sought-after lawyers of our time.
Cochran died in 2005, but his legacy continues.
The late Robert Kardashian gained notoriety as O.J.’s best friend and one of the core members of the “Dream Team.” Robert reactivated his law license and acted as a volunteer assistant on O.J.’s defense team and as a support system for the former NFL star.
But his friendship with Simpson didn’t mean he blindly believed in his innocence. In fact, reports of his belief that O.J. was guilty plagued Kardashian after the trial ended.
He reportedly said, “I have doubts. The blood evidence is the biggest thorn in my side; that causes me the greatest problems. So I struggle with the blood evidence.”
Kardashian died in 2003.
Kato Kaelin was a minor witness in the prosecution’s case against O.J. Simpson, but became one of the best-known names from the trial. Kaelin lived in a guest house on O.J.’s estate, where he was present the night Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. His testimony helped the prosecution pin down a timeline for the callous killings. Kaelin was deemed a hostile witness by Marcia Clark. He was later mocked for his “surfer” personality.
Fuhrman was an LAPD detective when he became the lead cop on the O.J Simpson trial. But his long history of racism and jokes about police brutality became one of the cornerstones of the racial debate surrounding the trial. He was forced to leave his work as a cop when he was convicted of perjury for lying about his use of racist language.
He has since enjoyed fame as a television crime commentator, author of true-crime fiction, and as a radio host.
Judge Lance Ito
Judge Ito quickly became one of the most famous American judges for presiding over the Simpson case. He was criticized for allowing cameras in the courtroom and, according to some, making the trial a media circus. After, he presided over an estimated 500 more cases. He has since retired and has not commented on the case.
Kris Jenner & The Kardashians
The Kardashians became a household name during the O.J. Simpson trial, which the FX series certainly never seems to let us forget. Kris Jenner, ex-wife of Robert Kardashian and former best friend of Nicole Simpson, became a familiar fixture in the courtroom during the trial and has given several interviews about her friendship with Nicole in the years since her death. According to Jenner, she and Robert Kardashian disagreed on O.J.’s innocence, driving a wedge in their relationship and ultimately leading to its demise.
Later, Jenner and her daughters became one of the most famous (and most hated) reality show families (you’ve probably heard the name once or twice).
As the lead prosecutor on the O.J. case, Marcia Clark reached moderate fame working on the Robert John Bardo trial, but it was her role on the O.J. trial that propelled her career into the spotlight. Clark was decried by critics and the public, who nitpicked everything from her voice and personality, to her appearance.
Clark resigned two years after O.J. was acquitted and penned the book Without a Doubt with Teresa Carpenter. She has called the FX series, which she says is very close to fact, a “nightmare” she has been forced to relive.
You may know Star Jones for her role on The View and her personal-life drama, but before she was a household name, she was an unknown lawyer and aspiring host. It was actually the Simpson case that propelled her into the spotlight. Her career reached new heights when she became the chief legal analyst on Inside Edition during the trial. Jones was also notable for being the only journalist to interview O.J. during his civil trial.
Days before Nicole Simpson was murdered, her friend Faye Resnick stayed at her condo. After Simpson’s murder, Resnick collaborated on two books, Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted and Shattered: In the Eye of the Storm. She’s also been a B-list reality show fixture, appearing as somewhat of a sidekick on shows like The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty