Kato Kaelin reflects on O.J.'s death: 'I believe he did it,' wonders 'if he made peace with God'

Though a witness for the prosecution, Kaelin notably irked Deputy D.A. Marcia Clark during his testimony

O.J. Simpson murder trial witness and reality TV show figure Kato Kaelin spoke out to Fox News following the death of the disgraced NFL icon on Thursday, expressing his belief that he murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, despite a jury's acquittal nearly 30 years ago.

"My opinion was I think he's guilty. I have that opinion, and I still believe that today," he said on "Jesse Watters Primetime."

"On his deathbed, I don't know if he said a penance or not — but I really believe he is guilty — and if he made peace with God or not."

Kaelin underlined his immediate thoughts are with the Brown and Goldman families as well as Simpson's kin.

"I cherish memories of Nicole — you know, she was a beacon of light. She really was. She was bright. She was funny," he said. "And… people shouldn't forget that. It's really about two young, beautiful people that were murdered."

When asked on "Jesse Watters Primetime" whether he was very close with Simpson, Kaelin said he was more so someone who "h[u]ng out" with the celebrity.


O.J. Simpson sits in court next to Kato Kaelin on the witness stand.

Simpson, Kaelin in 1995 (Getty Images)

"He was Danish and I was donuts, so not a close friend," he said.

Kaelin also relived his time on the witness stand where he irritated then-Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark to the point she reportedly requested and succeeded in getting the then-radio personality deemed a "hostile witness." The designation allowed Clark to ask leading questions and press Kaelin as if he were a defense witness.

While he was considered on-paper a minor witness to the case, his testimony was such that polling released in the wake of the trial showed that three times as many Americans could identify him as they could then-Vice President Al Gore, according to Slate. 

Kaelin said he had never been in a courtroom until Simpson's trial, and that his "deer-in-the-headlights look" that was printed in the press came about because of his personal urgency to tell the truth.


Robert Shapiro, Johnny Cochran Jr., Robert Kardashian, F. Lee Bailey and Gerald Uelmen wait for an elevator in the Criminal Courts Building

Simpson attorneys Robert Shapiro, Johnnie Lee Cochran Jr., Robert Kardashian, F. Lee Bailey and Gerald Uelmen wait for an elevator in the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles on January 5, 1995. (Mike Nelson/AFP via Getty Images)

"… I was trying to think of me, making sure I remembered that question in the review, and that was because of my experience of being a witness," he said.

Kaelin also reflected on the racial tension Simpson's not-guilty verdict exacerbated in the country, as it came in the wake of the Rodney King riots. Segments of the nation glued to their televisions witnessed how Simpson's smile, lead attorney Johnnie Cochran's celebratory gesture and attorney Robert Kardashian's shocked face illustrated the polarization the trial inspired.

Kaelin said nothing has improved since the Simpson murder trial. He said that tension is still being felt, pointing to the chaos that ensued nationwide following George Floyd's death in Minnesota in 2020.

"It's gone backward. It is still a division of White and Black," he said.

"So, it's still as divided — I think it's probably even more divided now."

Kaelin, who still lives in Los Angeles, also pointed to his current county prosecutor, Democrat George Gascon, suggesting the progressive is overseeing "criminals… getting off for committing crimes — and I'm thinking this is the wrong way to do it."

Prosecutor Marcia Clark appears in court during O.J. Simpson’s murder trial

Prosecutor Marcia Clark in 1994 (Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty)

"I think that when you can openly shoplift somewhere and not be thrown into jail, I think it's wrong, and the system is wrong, and I think that's part of the problem," he said. 

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