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Call it a strange coda of the Trial of the Century.
An uncompleted mystery film that purports to exonerate O.J. Simpson in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman has played a central role in the legal saga involving Charlotte Kirk and a group of Hollywood power players dating back to 2017.
Joshua Newton’s Nicole & O.J. has been referenced in scores of legal documents beginning with a settlement agreement that Kirk and Newton reached with Kevin Tsujihara, James Packer, Brett Ratner and Avi Lerner in August 2017. Newton received $3.5 million toward the budget of the film, which stars Kirk as the ill-fated titular victim, and Ratner initially was poised to produce. Behind the scenes, former NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer set up footage screenings with potential financiers like Jason Blum.
What’s intriguing is that several lawyers involved in the Kirk litigation played roles in the Simpson legal spectacle back in the 1990s. Meyer’s attorney Howard Weitzman represented the accused football star before quitting “because of my personal relationship with O.J. Simpson and my many other professional commitments,” he said at the time. (Weitzman, who was busy handling sex-abuse allegations against Michael Jackson, was replaced by Robert Shapiro, the architect of the so-called “Dream Team.”)
Marty Singer, who is repping Ratner, Packer, Lerner and Tsujihara, has said that he was the lawyer for “some witnesses” who testified at Simpson’s criminal trial in 1995 on behalf of the defense. And O’Melveny & Myers’ Daniel Petrocelli, who is representing NBCU in a civil suit that Newton plans to file against Meyer and the studio claiming breach of fiduciary duty, among other charges, was the attorney for the Goldman family in a suit against Simpson in 1995.
Furthermore, F. Lee Bailey, who was a friend of Ratner’s, offered his seal of approval to Nicole & O.J., written by Newton. According to an email exchange between Bailey and Newton that THR has read, the Dream Team member wrote, “Read the script. Smashing! Good show. Stunning case so far.”
Little is known about the film other than that Boris Kodjoe stars as Simpson. Newton’s attorney Larry Caldwell says that 90 percent of the scenes involving Kirk and Kodjoe were shot in Bulgaria over 22 days in 2018 and that another 42 days are required to film the scenes involving the film’s protagonist Douglas McCann, a real-life attorney who repped Simpson in a 2000 civil suit.
McCann unsuccessfully sued Verizon precursor GTE for withholding phone records that the attorney claimed would exonerate Simpson. One source familiar with the script says that Kris Jenner, who was a close friend of the Simpson family at the time, comes off in a negative light in Nicole & O.J. Given that Singer has represented the Kardashian matriarch for decades, he may have another legal complaint on his hands.
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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