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tv   Nightline  ABC  February 21, 2017 12:37am-1:08am PST

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erection? this is "nightline." >> tonight, oscar buzz. a sensational court case that riveted and divided the country rivet the academy? what we're learning about the trial of the century. >> did the defense team cross a line? >> new insights from the names and faces that made history. >> not guilty of the crime of murder -- >> two innocent people were brutally murdered. i just thought, no one scarce. no one cares. going gosling. the leading man of "la la land" has lived a life worth singing and dancing about. from his days in mickey mouse club to making movie magic with emma stone in "city of stars." ♪ behind the scenes of his oscar-nominated performance. but first the "nightline 5." >> sick, huh? >> i'm good.
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good evening. thank you for joining us. tonight we bring you some of that oscar buzz. celebrating a couple of this year's big contenders. first we take another look at that memorable documentary series by our sister network espn about a defining moment in
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american history. "o.j.: made in america" is up for best documentary feature, providing fascinating new insights into that trial that captivated the nation, including some surprising tactics by the defense. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> when you would walk up the grand staircase, there was a large wall with pictures of the family. pictures of friends. >> reporter: tonight, a rare look inside o.j.'s infamous rockingham estate. >> the problem was the overwhelming majority of pictures were of caucasian friends. >> reporter: yes, there was the glove. >> if it doesn't fit, you must acquit. >> reporter: but there was also this long-forgotten trip the jury took to o.j.'s house. the jurors, nine african-americans, eight of them women. >> took all his white friends down, put all these black people
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up, pictures he'd probably never seen before, we made him blacker. >> reporter: o.j.'s agent gilbert and defense attorney douglas speaking out on the plan to sway the jury, ruling on the brutal murders of nicole brown simpson and ron goldman. lead prosecutor marcia clark said she objectioned time and again to blatant defense tactics. >> she said, carl, you know damn well he has never had this many black people on his wall his entire life. i said, marcia. what are you talking about? how dare you accuse us of such things? >> that is very dirty pool. >> if we had had a latin jury, we would have had a picture of him in a sombrero. there would have been a maturiai band out front. >> reporter: many of the key players in the trial of the century in "o.j.: made in america" exploring bitter race relations plaguing lapd for decades. so many americans say, yes, there's racism in this country. yes, there's police brutality.
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and yet o.j. simpson seemed to use those facts to get away with murder. >> well, his defense team did. the defense team's job, as karl douglas and anyone else will tell you, is to use all the arrows in their quiver. >> did the defense team cross a line ethically? >> they crossed a line every time they walked into court. every single time. >> what was the most egregious? >> i think the sheer extreme nature of the way in which race was injected went too far. >> you get this allegation, that you were amoral, that you crossed ethical lines, that you lost your moral come pass. >> and i take great umbrage with that perspective. there was a judge calling balls and strikes. it is my job to push, push, push. >> reporter: even though it's been more than two decades, the o.j. case continues to fascinate. >> i'm trying to win. >> reporter: who could forget that made for tv drama? >> i'm not black, i'm o.j. >> reporter: the hit fx
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miniseries. >> this has got to stop. choose a side. >> reporter: just last summer the world got a glimpse of an older o.j. at 68, gray, paunchy, at 235 pounds. locked behind bars for the last eight years for robbery. a shadow of the charismatic young man who once graced the covers of magazines. >> at the university of southern california, they have a living legend -- >> reporter: who won a heisman for those agile moves as a running back. >> when you saw him on campus it was like, wow. there's o.j. >> i'm just celebrating my award. >> reporter: a celebrity who didn't just cross color lines, he seemed to erase them. >> he was one of my heroes. >> o.j. really was one of the first black men to be fully accepted in white america. >> nobody does it better than hertz! >> no black athlete had ever been on tv hawking products. he had deals with chevrolet and rc cola. >> reporter: his record-setting
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years with the buffalo bills. unstoppable even by peter jennings. >> i never had much doubt i'd miss him. that was o.j. simpson. >> reporter: o.j.'s legendary status forever eclipse the by accusations of domestic violence and a double homicide. >> we do have sufficient evidence to convict him and prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. >> reporter: the moment marcia clark says she tried to stop from ever happening. o.j. simpson struggling to put on those now-infamous bloody gloves. >> i didn't want to do it. i knew it was a mistake and i objected. i said, the latex is going to screw up the fit, they shrunk. the rest is history. >> reporter: douglas, a member of simpson's defense dubbed the dream team. >> this is part of our efforts to prove an innocent man falsely accused. >> reporter: johnnie cochran, robert shapiro, and robert kardashian. tens of millions of americans were riveted by the unfolding drama. for prosecutor marcia clark, it was a much more personal attack on her appearance and her curly hair. >> i was pretty sure the jury didn't care about my hair.
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what was the focus for me was the judge. to the extent the judge treats me like less than, the jury takes their cue from him. and so it would be mr. cochran, mr. shapiro, and marcia. >> reporter: every move in the courtroom scrutinized. >> you said that o.j. was pretty much the quarterback, not the running back, in that team. >> there were occasions when he would bring us over to make sure his questions were asked. i remember during the closing arguments he would take notes feverishly, making sure that johnnie cochran and barry scheck would hit his points that he thought was important. and o.j. knew how things played. >> reporter: what played out in the courtroom was the racial tension outside the courtroom. his famous quote, i'm not black, i'm o.j. he achieved this sort of colorlessness. and yet when he was charged with murder, he used sort of his racial identity as his defense. >> well, that's sort of one of the great ironies of the story. >> i don't call it the race card. we were playing the evidence card.
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we were playing the credibility card. where the credibility of the central witness was at issue. >> reporter: so when audiotapes surfaced of the police officer who found the bloody glove ranting racial slurs -- >> anything out of the [ bleep ] the first five or six sentences is [ bleep ] lie -- >> reporter: it was seen as a touchdown for the defense. who says things like that? it was so foul. it was so despicable. that -- i mean, it was nauseating to listen to. >> it was like manna from heaven. it was indeed a gift. >> when you heard those tapes did you think, this is a get out of jail free card? >> it was a blockbuster. we knew that some of the things that he was talking about would resonate with this jury. >> reporter: after nine grueling months of testimony, the jury reached a verdict in a matter of hours. >> -- find the defendant orenthal james simpson not guilty of the crime of murder --
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>> it was very painful. two innocent people were brutally murdered and i thought, no one cares. no one cares. it was extremely heartbreaking. >> did you lose your faith in the criminal justice system? >> i did. i really did. it wasn't just the verdict, i have to tell you, it was watching the insanity of the circus every single day. i couldn't get the judge to pick up the reins at any point during the trial. watching something like that happen, it's like, i have nothing left to believe in. i can't do this. >> reporter: but life after the not guilty verdict was not as o.j. may have imagined. he was found liable in the civil trial and ordered to pay $33 million to the families of nicole brown simpson and ron goldman. >> we finally have justice for ron and nicole. >> o.j. wanted nothing more than to be beloved by all of america. >> and yet that's most of what he lost after the verdict. because he was no longer
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accepted in white america. >> and i think that really sent him into a tailspin. >> reporter: o.j. left brentwood for florida. even starring in his own prank tv show, "juiced with o.j. simpson." posing as a used car salesman selling a white bronco. >> hopefully there's no bodies in this thing. i can guarantee the car has escape ability. >> reporter: 13 years after the verdict, a baffling attempt to steal back his own memorabilia. this time a different verdict. >> guilty. >> reporter: landing him in prison with a 33-year sentence for robbery. >> that must feel like some sort of vindication for you. >> he's not serving time for the murders and that's what would be vindicating. >> reporter: the former prosecutor has since left the courtroom, fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a crime novelist. the country is going through this re-examination of you. what do you think of that? >> i think it's really nice to be understood. it's really nice. >> reporter: for "nightline,"
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i'm juju chang in new york. next, ryan gosling talks about how aspects of his role in "la la land" closely resemble his own life. later, hollywood goes political. which cause celeb will get the most celeb attention at this year's academy awards? ...including this little girl. and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding.
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to his loyal fans you'd be hard-pressed to find a cooler leading man than ryan gosling. he's taken on a new role that both tested his limits and mirrored his personal life. take another look at his conversation with abc's chris
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connelly. >> reporter: long before "the notebook" -- >> it still isn't over. >> reporter: his status as hollywood's low-key leading man, his win at the golden globes -- >> thank you very much. >> reporter: and his nomination in the best actor category, the second of his career at the oscars. ryan gosling was a teenager from cornwall, ontario, who moved to l.a. to be an actor. >> it's not easy to leave your hometown and your family and come out to los angeles to pursue a dream where the odds are not in your favor. >> reporter: that same yearning sustains his and emma stone's characters in "la la land." >> it's like a pipe dream. >> this is the dream. it's conflict and it's compromise. it's very, very exciting. >> it helped reinvigorate my understanding and love for l.a., i think. it can also be a place where really incredible things happen. >> reporter: not much more incredible than gosling's quiet rise to the top of the a-list, bolstered by offbeat and heartfelt films. from the brash "drive."
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to the tender "blue valentine." ♪ you always hurt the ones you love ♪ >> he won a national meth competition in china -- >> reporter: the up to the second ensemble "the big short." >> i'm sure of the math. >> reporter: in "la la land" gosling's pianist finds his jazz dream going south fast. >> you're fired. >> it's christmas. >> yeah, i see the decorations. good luck in the new year. >> that's the worst time to meet a potential love interest but that's exactly when he meets her. ♪ >> i just heard you play and i want -- >> reporter: he and stone's mia click amid lots of old school showbiz magic. his onscreen chemistry with emma stone, it's their third film together, is a major plus for the writer-director. >> you put them on the screen together and they create this magic. it's the best special effect.
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>> reporter: they'd review gene kelly's "singing in the rain" notebooks. a visit to kelly's widow's home nearly ended in disaster. >> she had a little dog, we forgot to close the door, it ran out into the street. it was damian and i chasing this dog through traffic. looking at each other like, this has to end in a nice way. we caught him and everything was fine. >> i'm relieved just thinking of it. >> reporter: the history lesson paid off with gosling and stone's magic hour duets. >> we were never asked to do things that we couldn't do, because if we weren't meant to be like broadway performers. >> you danced before. you had dance experience. >> well, '90s hip-hop doesn't seem to translate into softshoe. >> this performance part of his pre-teen days at a toronto dance studio. ♪ >> wearing the hair and pants. >> hair and pants. >> reporter: onstage pizzazz like that helped earn a young
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gosling his first break. >> just over this bridge is my hometown, cornwall, ontario. >> reporter: he was part of the cast of the all-new mickey mouse club assembling a stagger array of talent. britney, christina, justin, keri russell. two decades later, "la la land" returned gosling to music as he learned jazz piano. ♪ >> it's a lot of time alone. you become quite anti-social. and every time i tried to have a conversation during that rehearsal period with anybody i was a bit like bambi on ice or something. ♪ it's beautiful music. i have to say. when i met with damian, we met at a bar near my house. when i walked home, the theme for the film was in my inbox. it was so beautiful i thought, wow, he really does have a chance at making something special here. ♪ city of stars are you shining just for me ♪ >> then i had to play that piece
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of music for six months, hours every day. and i should be sick of it. but i'm not. so i think it's a testament to how good it is. ♪ all that i need's that crazy feeling ♪ >> reporter: audiences are likely to agree as the boy from cornwall, ontario, now a father of two young daughters by long-time love eva mendes, discovered what he returned to canada for a screening. >> it cast a spell on people. i saw it in toronto. a very unique experience. >> maybe i'm not good enough. >> yes, you are. >> maybe i'm not. >> i've also been a fan of this genre of musical and it seemed like that ship had sailed. so it was really amazing to have the opportunity to make something like this. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm chris connelly in los angeles. and next, from who are you wearing to who'd you vote for? how this year's oscars could be the most political awards show
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finally tonight, it seems now more than ever all art is political. with hollywood's biggest night less than one week away, people are asking all things oscars. will "money light" steal the spotlight? who will be named best dressed? what off the wall topics will come up in the acceptance speeches? this awards season has already proven to be quite political. take meryl streep's acceptance speech at the golden globes, calling out president trump for his comments on immigration. >> hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. and if we kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts which are not the arts. >> reporter: most recently joy villa's make america great again
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dress that set the grammys red carpet abuzz and record sales soaring. this isn't the first time hollywood a-listers have used award shows to take a political stance. from protesting a president's policies -- >> shame on you, mr. bush, shame on you! >> reporter: to the lack of diversity. >> well, i'm here at the academy awards. otherwise known as the white people's choice awards. >> reporter: while we're not quite sure what this guy was protesting -- as for this year's speeches, we'll know sunday night. who doesn't love oscar night? it was oscar winner audrey hepburn who said, everything i learned, i learned from the movies. thank you for watching abc news. as always, we're online at and our "nightline" facebook page. thanks for the company, america. good night.
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