OJ Simpson dies aged 76 after battle with cancer

OJ Simpson dies aged 76 after battle with cancer

Watch: GB News breaks the story of Simpson's death

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 11/04/2024

- 15:42

Updated: 11/04/2024

- 16:56

A statement from the convicted criminal's family said he 'succumbed to his battle with cancer'

OJ Simpson, the controversial former American football player, actor, subject of the "trial of the century", and convicted criminal, has died aged 76.

A family statement released on Simpson's social media account today read: "On April 10, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer.

"He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

"During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace."

OJ Simpson in court

Simpson's struggle to put on gloves in court sparked a furore over whether he had committed the crime


Simpson, born in San Francisco, had risen to fame as a college football player for the University of Southern California before playing in the NFL, where he was regarded as one of the sport's greatest-ever ever running-backs.

After his sporting success, Simpson pursued a career in acting, becoming a popular public figure in the US - but his stardom was overshadowed by his trial - and contentious acquittal - over the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman, at her home in 1994.

Simpson was the primary suspect in the case and was arrested and charged for stabbing the pair to death following a police chase across Los Angeles.

His subsequent trial, in 1995, was the subject of mass media coverage and interest from the public in the US and abroad, and was later dubbed the "trial of the century".


OJ Simpson

OJ Simpson has died at 76, according to a statement from his family today


At its outset, Simpson declared he was "absolutely 100 per cent not guilty" - but prosecutors provided a litany of evidence including blood, hair and fibre tests which they said proved he killed his former wife in a jealous rage.

His defence in the case - put forward by a team of high-profile criminal lawyers - was that he had been framed for the crimes by racist police officers.

The trial shot to infamy when a glove found at the property was presented in court as evidence, and given to Simpson to try on; in the dock, he appeared to struggle to put on the item - sparking a furore over whether he had committed the crime.

One of Simpson's lawyers, Johnnie Cochran, referred to the gloves in closing arguments to jurors with the rhyme: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit", while another in his team, Alan Dershowitz, later called the prosecution's decision to ask Simpson to try on the gloves "the greatest legal blunder of the 20th century".

Simpson was eventually acquitted in the trial - at its conclusion, he waved at jurors and mouthed the words "thank you" after the majority black panel of 10 women and two men exonerated him.

A later civil trial for the wrongful deaths of Goldman and Brown found Simpson liable in 1997 - he was ordered to pay upwards of $33million (then £21million) in damages, which he struggled to pay off over the rest of his life.

Then in 2008, Simpson was found guilty by a Las Vegas jury on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery for an incident at a casino hotel in 2007 in which Simpson and five men - at least two of whom were carrying guns - stole a collection of sports memorabilia worth thousands of dollars from a pair of dealers.

The former football player said he was trying to recover his own property and "didn't want to hurt anybody", and was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison. He was later released on parole in 2017 - from which he was granted early release in 2021 for good behaviour.

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