LAS VEGAS — O.J. Simpson isn’t happy with ads and interviews he’s seen about a cable TV series focusing on his 1995 murder acquittal, his attorney said, but he’s not upset about the way he’s depicted.
"What’s annoying him is how they’re trying to portray Johnnie Cochran," attorney Malcolm LaVergne in Las Vegas said ahead of the Tuesday debut of the FX network show, "The People v. O.J. Simpson."
LaVergne said Simpson admired and respected Cochran, a longtime civil rights advocate who died in March 2005, and believes he’s unfairly depicted as ruthless and overly ambitious.
Cochran uttered what became a pop-culture catchphrase after Simpson failed during trial to get his hands into blood-stained gloves found at the murder scene.
"If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit," he declared.
The FX series focuses on Simpson’s acquittal in the Los Angeles "trial of the century" case stemming from the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Simpson was later found liable for the deaths in a civil lawsuit and ordered to pay the victims’ families $33.5 million.
Simpson, 68, is now serving nine to 33 years at Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada for a 2008 kidnapping and armed robbery conviction. He was found guilty of orchestrating a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2017.
He was a star running back at USC who won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 and played for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. He was also a television sportscaster, movie actor and commercial pitchman.
The FX series is the debut entry for the channel’s "American Crime Story" anthology.
Courtney B. Vance plays Cochran, with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, John Travolta as defence attorney Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer as Simpson friend Robert Kardashian, and Sarah Paulson plays prosecutor Marcia Clark.
LaVergne said Simpson hasn’t said anything about his own portrayal.
"He has thick skin," the lawyer said.
But Simpson won’t be able to see the show himself — at least not immediately.
The FX network isn’t carried on cable television in Nevada prisons, state corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast said.