Christopher Darden, the prosecutor in the 1995 historic O.J. Simpson trial that has been dubbed the “trial of the century,” says he is “pissed off” at the outcome of the proceedings that set the football player accused of killing ex-wife Nicole Simpson-Brown free.
The trial was watched around the world and became the first completely televised court proceeding. At the center of the media circus was Darden and lead prosecutor Marcia Clark. The two of them, as well as some key witnesses for the state, faced incredible scrutiny, criticism and outright ridicule for the handling of the trial.
Twenty years later, Darden leads a life away from the blaring lights and criticism.
Darden, 58, said the backlash was, at times, more than he could take.
“I was devastated and decimated by the trial,” he said.
Darden said as the years wore on, depression has been replaced with anger.
“I don’t think I’m so much as bitter. Now, I think I’m angry,” he says. “I mean, I couldn’t be angry back then. I couldn’t be pissed off, because I’m a prosecutor. But now, I’m just Chris Darden. Now I can just be pissed off.”
While Darden still practices law, he has switched sides in criminal court proceedings.
“I’m a criminal law defense attorney,” he says. “And I write a little bit here and there.”
A father of three with his wife of 17 years, Marcia, Darden said he wouldn’t encourage his kids to pursue law, but wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
“I have the smartest family anyone could have,” he says proudly. “My children are brilliant children. I don’t think that any of them should pursue criminal law,” Darden says. “But I could certainly see them becoming lawyers.”