June 21, 2019
Best of the States
25 years after unresolved killings, O.J. Simpson tells AP: ‘life is fine’
Two weeks before the 25th anniversary of the killings that led to O.J. Simpson’s “Trial of the Century,” special correspondent Linda Deutsch was summoned from retirement to try to coax an interview from the fallen football star. Simpson hadn’t submitted to an interview since being released from prison in 2017, and he turned down an interview request from Deutsch last year. But Deutsch tried again, this time by phone. O.J. didn't want to talk, but he relented after Deutsch reminded him that if he spoke to her, AP’s story would reach all media.
Simpson wouldn’t discuss the crime, but he provided a glimpse into a life now very much outside the public eye, telling Deutsch “life is fine,” a quote that stung any who believed he got away with murder.
Deutsch’s story, including two photos of Simpson at home that were exclusive to the AP, was the day’s top-read AP story online, and the centerpiece of a multi-story package looking back at Simpson’s trial, its key figures and its impact.
For a timely, exclusive interview with a man who remains the focus of intense public interest, Linda Deutsch receives AP’s Best of the States award.