Where were you when the O.J. Simpson verdict was read?
Over 20 years later, most people can still tell you exactly where they were on October 5, 1995, when a jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty in the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Half of the nation cheered, half of the nation cried out in protest–including the stars of FX’s hit series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which is finally depicting the verdict in Tuesday’s finale.
Courtney B. Vance, who is earning praise as defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, was actually with one of the stars of Scandal, Tony Goldwyn, when the verdict came in…and they had wildly different reactions.
“Tony and I were in his apartment watching the verdict and it came down and I screamed ‘Yes!’ and he screamed ‘No!'” Vance told E! News. “We looked at each other in horror and started talking about where we both were and why we felt that way.”
But does Vance still feel the same way about the outcome of the trial now as he did then? “I kind of blocked it out because I was in such shock that he went through the whole process and I was a big fan of his,” he admitted, adding that he actually forgot he was with Goldwyn when the verdict came in. “Tony had to remind me that we were actually together!”
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Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays Simpson, also told us he “cheered” when the former football star was found not guilty at the end of the trial of the century, adding he felt like “It could’ve been me” after starring in Boyz in the Hood and the Rodney King verdict. But looking back now, Gooding admitted it’s been “an emotional rollercoaster.”
Oddly enough, more than one star remembered the infamous Bronco Chase (which was the focus on episode two) more vividly than the verdict. Sarah Paulson was at her friend’s house, she remembers, saying, “We were hanging out, watching Thirtysomething or whatever show was popular at the time and it kept getting interrupted by that Bronco and I found it really entertaining.”
To hear more of the FX hit’s stars reflect on the major moment in our history, press play on our interview above.
The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story‘s finale airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX.
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