The suit that former NFL star O.J. Simpson wore when he was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife was rejected by the Smithsonian Institution, but has found a home just a few blocks away at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
“It makes perfect sense for us,” Carrie Christofferson, the Newseum’s collections curator told The Washington Post. “There’s just no denying this was one of the trials of the century.”
The Smithsonian rejected an offer to take possession of the clothing in March, stating that it was inappropriate for their collection.
The Simpson trial kept Americans glued to their TV sets for months back in 1995, and Simpson’s acquittal of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman became a focus of heated racial debate.
Simpson, 62, is currently serving a nine-year sentence in a Nevada prison for a botched robbery and kidnapping attempt in 2008.
Simpson reportedly approved the donation of the tan Armani suit, white shirt and gold tie from his jail cell, and stated that his only requirement in doing so was that no one should profit from the gesture. Until recently, the clothes had been in storage.
For more than a decade, the clothes were the focus of a legal battle between Simpson’s former manager, Mike Gilbert and Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman. Approval to make the suit a museum donation was approved in early March by a California judge as a solution to the 13-year battle between Gilbert and Goldman.
Gilbert said that the Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington had also vied for the apparel, but the parties involved had decided the appropriate venue was the Newseum.
The Newseum is a 250,000-square-foot interactive facility on Pennsylvania Avenue which blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.
According to the Associated Press, it plans on putting Simpson’s clothes on display in a depiction of the trial of the century.
“For us, it’s a piece of news history that we will include in our collection of objects relating to the trial,” Christofferson told the Post.