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Prosecutor Marcia Clark Reacts to ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’: ‘It Felt Pretty Awful’

Marcia Clark and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
Marcia Clark and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"Beck Starr/FilmMagic; FX Networks

For Marcia Clark, The People v. O.J. Simpson is not entertainment. It’s a torturous reminder of her past as the real-life prosecutor on the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial.

“The whole experience of that trial was a nightmare. It tore me up,” Clark, 62, told Entertainment Weekly after the FX miniseries premiered on Tuesday, February 2. “I can’t tell you. I watched justice get thwarted from almost day one.”

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After witnessing the alleged injustice firsthand — Simpson, now 68, was found not guilty in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman — Clark was not looking forward to reliving it in the series.

Johnnie Cochran and Marcia Clark
Johnnie Cochran and Marcia Clark during testimony in the O.J. Simpson Criminal Trial on February 9, 1995. Lee Celano/

“It felt pretty awful, not because of anything the series might have done, just reinvoking all of the memories of it,” she said of the drama. “What got me through it was being able to watch Sarah’s performance.”

Clark said she’s long admired her onscreen counterpart, Sarah Paulson. Shortly before filming wrapped on the show, she got the chance to meet the lauded actress, 41, in person for dinner.

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“I’ve been a fan of hers for years. I just love her,” Clark revealed. “She was even more wonderful in person.”

Clark described watching the show as “an out-of-body experience,” and said that she’d previously hoped The People v. O.J. Simpson would get canceled before it ever made it to the small screen.

“I kept hoping and praying, ‘Please, please don’t let this happen. Make something go wrong. Make someone think this isn’t a good idea,’” she said.

Unfortunately for Clark, the show premiered, and she watched it with a group of friends.

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Sarah Paulson in American Crime Story
Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” Ray Mickshaw/FX Networks

“This will never be entertaining to me,” she said. “I watched it with my stomach in knots.”

And though she praised FX and creator Ryan Murphy for trying to use the platform to promote different social messages, she did have some words of caution for viewers.

“I hope people can remember that this is a dramatization. It is not a documentary. They weren’t trying to ‘get it right’ necessarily,” she said. “But I want no one to forget that these important discussions are happening at the expense of two innocent people, who are dead. I hope they honor Ron and Nicole in some way.”

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