No holding back. Marcia Clark opened up about her Scientology past, how she feels about the O.J. Simpson case now and her rape at age 17 in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The former prosecutor, 62, who is back in the spotlight after the success of FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, said she has never been approached by the show’s creators and has yet to see the final episodes. She’s had no contact with anyone involved, except Sarah Paulson, who portrays her in the miniseries.
She’s also had no contact with most of the real-life players in the famous case since it concluded in October 1995. During Simpson’s armed-robbery trial in 2008, she spotted him in the courthouse cafe. “He was walking toward his area of the cafeteria, which was kind of cordoned off for him,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “And as he passed by, he looked at me and said, ‘Ms. Clark.’ And I said, ‘Mr. Simpson.’ That’s it.” Simpson was found guilty of this crime and given a long sentence — 33 years behind bars with eligibility for parole after nine years.
Clark notes that the FX series doesn’t portray everything accurately, particularly the scene in which Simpson’s attorney Robert Shapiro tries on the glove in the courtroom. “Never happened,” she said. “Could never happen. They would never leave evidence out like that, and no one can touch [it] unless the bailiff is there, the judge, everybody.”
The infamous glove helped win the case for the defense, and the moment was a devastating blow to Clark and the prosecution team. After the single mom lost the trial of the century, she felt like her brain was foggy. “There was some form of depression going on,” she said. “But I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I was very torn up. Everything I believed in was shredded.” She still to this day believes Simpson is guilty. When asked whether she thinks his behavior could have been influenced by CTE, the brain disease recently diagnosed in football players, she said, “I have thought about it. [But] from what I understand, it causes explosive behavior, unpredictable behavior. I have never heard that it promotes this kind of planned behavior.”
Over a decade before she was thrust into the public eye during the O.J. trial, Clark’s life was very different. Her second husband, who she’s no longer in contact with, worked for the Church of Scientology, and after delving briefly into the religion, she left in 1980 without repercussions. Clark never got past the low levels, and she praises its beginner classes but not the more obscure doctrines.
“It’s actually really instructive at the beginning because it’s the greatest hits of the best of meditation and all the best of psychology. It melds it all together, and it’s very helpful. Once you get past that and you start talking about the mythology … ,” she said with a shrug. She also called founder L. Ron Hubbard’s writing “bad” and says “it’s so amateur-hour.”
The former prosecutor opened about another difficult part of her past as well: Her desire to become a lawyer and pursue justice after a violent rape at age 17. She was visiting a resort in Israel with friends and went out to a cafe with a local waiter, who took her back to his room. “I said, ‘Well, I think I’ve got to go,’” she recalled. “And I start to head for the door, and then he grabbed me and said, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’ He sucker punched me, threw me on the bed. And I screamed and screamed, and he laughed and laughed and said, ‘No one can hear you.’ And they couldn’t.”
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