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The OJ Simpson trials: Where are they now?

OJ Simpson pictured in 2013 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption OJ Simpson has been involved in two high-profile trials

They were two of the most high-profile court cases of the last 25 years, thanks to the man who sat in the dock.

OJ Simpson found himself in front of a judge twice in 13 years.

The first time, he was accused of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson Brown, and Ron Goldman. The second, the kidnap and armed robbery of two memorabilia dealers.

He was only convicted of the latter and, having served nine years, is set to be freed in October.

So, as Simpson prepares to leave jail, the BBC takes a look back at the other people who became as much a part of the headlines as he did.

The 1995 trial

Simpson's first trial gripped America, divided opinion and made celebrities of everyone who came into contact with it.

The prosecutors: Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden

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Image caption Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden became celebrities

Marcia Clark would later describe the 135 days she spent as lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson case as a "trial by fire".

She not only found herself the fodder of tabloid gossip but also the victim of sexism at the hands of many of the men inside the courtroom.

Ms Clark was also forced to live with the guilt - as she saw it - of failing the Brown and Goldman families.

Afterwards, she withdrew from prosecution and is now a best-selling novelist, having published her first book in 2011.

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Image caption Marcia Clark (R) in 2017 with Sarah Paulson, who portrayed her in a recent mini-series

Her colleague Christopher Darden, the co-prosecutor on the case, did not come in for quite the attention Ms Clark did.

However, he too left with a bitter taste in his mouth, telling Oprah Winfrey in 2014 he had been "devastated and decimated by the trial" which, looking back on after two decades, had left him with an "angry" feeling.

Mr Darden swapped practising law for teaching straight after the trial, before turning his hand to criminal defence.

The defence team: Robert Shapiro, Johnnie Cochran and Robert Kardashian

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Image caption The "dream team": (left to right) Johnnie Cochran, OJ Simpson and Robert Shapiro sitting in court with Robert Kardashian leaning over them

Simpson's so-called "dream team" was a collection of lawyers known for representing the rich and famous. Of course, after they were done clearing Simpson's name, they were also rich and famous.

Johnnie Cochran - who had just represented Michael Jackson in his sexual molestation case - is probably best remembered for the phrase "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" - a reference to the blood-stained glove found at the scene which the prosecution hoped would place Simpson at the scene.

After the trial, he made millions from a book deal before dying of cancer in 2005.

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Image caption Robert Shapiro (pictured in 2017 representing Conrad Hilton) is still practising

Robert Shapiro had also established himself as a celebrity lawyer long before taking part in the Simpson trial. He is practising to this day.

As for the 1995 Simpson trial, he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2016: "There's two types of justice that we deal with in America: there's moral justice and there's legal justice.

"If you look at it from a moral point of view, a lot of people would say he absolutely did it. I deal in legal justice, as you did as a lawyer, and that's proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And there's no question in my mind that any fair juror who saw that case from the beginning to the end would conclude there was reasonable doubt."

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Image caption Robert Kardashian's daughters - from far left, Khloe, Kourtney and Kim - and ex-wife Kris (second right) are now reality TV stars

Simpson's long-time friend Robert Kardashian was thrust into the spotlight after reading out the sports star's goodbye letter following the infamous car chase.

Mr Kardashian apparently believed in his friend's innocence so much he reactivated a long dormant attorney's licence to help at the trial.

Afterwards, he would say he had doubts over Simpson's innocence. Mr Kardashian died of oesophageal cancer in 2003 - four years before his family would become household names, although this time for quite different reasons.

The cop: Mark Fuhrman

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Image caption Mark Fuhrman has had a successful career following the trial

Police officer Mark Fuhrman was supposed to be the prosecution's star witness during the trial. Instead, after tapes of him using the n-word emerged, he was labelled a racist and accused of planting evidence to frame Simpson.

He retired during the trial, and was later charged with perjury - which he admitted - having denied using the n-word during his testimony.

It did not stop him going on to be a successful true crime writer starting, of course, with Murder in Brentwood, and later a television pundit, a role he retains to this day.

The witness: Kato Kaelin

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Image caption Kato Kaelin - pictured at the trial, and in 2015 - was staying with Simpson the night of the murders

Brian "Kato" Kaelin was staying in Simpson's guesthouse on the night of the murder. An aspiring actor, he testified against Simpson during the trial but was roundly derided as looking like a beach bum.

He has gone on to have various screen roles, the most recent of which is in an advert for GuestHouseRent.com - released days before Simpson's parole hearing.

'I AM the guest house expert,' he tells the camera.

The victims' families: The Browns and Goldmans

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Image caption Juditha Brown, the mother of Nicole Brown Simpson (far left), Ron Goldman's father Fred, step-mother Patti and sister Kim Goldman (right)

The families of Nicole Brown Smith and Ron Goldman were not prepared to give up after Simpson was declared not guilty by the jury.

They went on to win a civil case against Simpson, who was ordered to pay $33.5m (£25.8m) in damages to their families.

As a result, the families also own the rights to If I Did It, Simpson's 2008 book explaining how he would have committed the murders had he been responsible.

Ron's sister Kim - who dedicates a lot of her time to helping victims of domestic violence - said earlier this year there was "no escaping" the killing, as it continued to fascinate the public.

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Image caption Fred and Kim Goldman were present when Simpson was convicted in 2008

The 2008 trial

Simpson's second trial was never going to be as high-profile as the first.

However, it too had its key players - his accomplices, the majority of whom turned state's witness, and the two victims.

The co-conspirators

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Image caption Pictures of the alleged co-accused were projected on to the wall during the trial

The court heard how in 2007 the former football player was accompanied by five other men as he tried to reclaim family pictures and footballs peddled by sport memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Four of these five men made plea deals, testifying against the former sports star. Three were given probation, and one was given total immunity.

It led to Simpson being sentenced to 33 years for armed robbery, assault, kidnapping and other offenses.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Clarence Stewart was also sentenced to almost 30 years in prison

The only co-accused who did not testify against Simpson was his golfing friend Clarence Stewart, who was sentenced to a minimum of seven-and-a-half years behind bars, which could have stretched to a 27-year prison term.

However, he was released from prison in 2011 after reaching a plea deal with the prosecutor.

The victims

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Image caption Bruce Fromong has said he will now back Simpson for parole

Simpson's group kidnapped two memorabilia dealers in September 2007: Alan Beardsley, and Bruce Fromong.

The former was a convicted felon who died in 2015, and the latter had been a friend of Simpson's since the 1990s.

Both denied having stolen anything from the NFL player and Fromong has indicated he planned to testify on Simpson's behalf at his parole hearing.

"I never thought that the crime deserved that much time, that long of a sentence," Fromong told CNN.

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