'Kato' Kaelin has previously said O.J. Simpson killed ex-wife
But for all the publicity over the statements, it's not the first time Kaelin has expressed such sentiments. The Times reported in 1996:Brian "Kato" Kaelin said during a televised interview Friday that he believes O.J. Simpson killed his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.
Last month, Kaelin told attorneys pressing wrongful death lawsuits against Simpson that Nicole Simpson thought the former football star would kill her. But Kaelin's comments Friday marked the first time he has publicly stated that he believes Simpson murdered her.
"I do believe that he had murdered Nicole," Kaelin said during an interview with Geraldo Rivera, broadcast on CNBC's "Rivera Live."
Simpson was acquitted last October in the murder of his former wife and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman.
Kaelin, who was declared a hostile witness by prosecutors in Simpson's double murder trial, said Friday that giving a deposition for the civil case and "seeing the things that now I'm aware of" convinced him that Simpson had indeed committed the crime.
Kaelin gave an interview to the New York Post this week.
"The statute of limitations has now passed . . . so I can now say . . . yes, he did it,” Kaelin told Cindy Adams of the Post. Asked why his testimony did not help convict Simpson, he replied, “I was too scared. I was terrified.”
But Kaelin, in an interview with TMZ.com, denied the statute of limitations comment and said he only thinks O.J. Simpson did the killings and does not have specific knowledge.
Kaelin became a minor celebrity after testifying in the criminal trial in which Simpson was acquitted and civil trial in which he was found liable for the wrongful deaths.
He is best known for describing the three thumps he heard from his guest house on Simpson's estate the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman were killed.
His story has changed over the years, as has his demeanor. The man who came off as a wisecracker in the criminal case was decidedly more serious during the later civil trial.In the civil trial, Kaelin testified that the noises he heard sounded "like someone falling back behind my bedroom wall." The description meshes with the plaintiffs' scenario — that Simpson made the noises when he crashed into the air conditioner behind Kaelin's wall while jumping over a fence in a mad dash to get back to his house after the killings. That was far more specific than Kaelin's previous accounts of the noises, which he had described as generic, rhythmic thumps that he mistook for an earthquake. He would concede in the civil trial that the noise could have been as late as 10:50 p.m., about 10 minutes after the killing.
Kaelin, a struggling actor, became an instant celebrity after his televised testimony. He testified he left Simpson standing in the driveway after a burger run to McDonald's at 9:37 on the night of the murders and that when he saw him at 11 he had no cuts on his hands, as prosecutors had maintained.
— Richard Winton and Shelby Grad