Dreyfuss Bouquet Mystery Solved?

The revelation that Richard Dreyfuss is bipolar might explain something that has puzzled me since the celebrity-strewn days of the 1995 Simpson trial.

Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Stone Phillips, Geraldo Rivera, actor James Woods, 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner (better known these days as Kris Kardashian’s hubby — or is that ex-hubby now?), former baseball star Steve Garvey, and Western-stylin’ lawyer Gerry Spence are among the luminaries that made the scene.

One I never saw, but whose presence became known to me via an elaborate floral bouquet that sat on a table in my office one day when I returned from the Simpson courtroom, was Richard Dreyfuss. The arrangement included a note from him thanking me for arranging a seat for him in the Simpson trial. I was flummoxed.

One, he was thanking me for something I didn’t do. While I coordinated with the trial judge, Lance Ito, and his courtroom bailiff on the courtroom seating plan, the only seats I had anything to do with were the 24 allocated for the news media. I referred requests from everyone else, defendant’s relatives and associates, prosecution-related folks, celebrities, judges and their staff, to the bailiff and judicial assistant.

Two, I was in the courtroom every day and I never saw Dreyfuss there.

So, maybe in a manic phase, he envisioned himself attending the trial and got my name from somewhere — which was no secret those days — to thank.

7 responses to “Dreyfuss Bouquet Mystery Solved?

  1. That’s funny — in both the “strange” and “ha-ha” ways!

  2. I thought so, too.

  3. according to cnn Dreyfuss was in court monday september 18 they have a photo of him too here http://www.cnn.com/US/OJ/daily/9-18/pm/index.html . When was James Woods in court?

    • Thank you, Mike! Seeing this photo helps explain why I didn’t notice Dreyfuss when he attended the trial. It appears that he wasn’t sitting in the press section. Those were the seats I was responsible for. It looks like he might have been sitting in the defense section of the spectator seats. Defense attorneys/staff determined who got to sit there. (The only occasion I can recall that I took any interest in who occupied those seats was when The Executioner’s Song author Lawrence Schiller was hanging a cheek on the end of a bench-style seat in that section as the seventh person in what was supposed to have been a six-person row. I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice even then, except for two factors. One was a couple of defense-team lawyers entreating me to give Schiller a media seat. He apparently was there at the behest of the defense to, as defense attorney Carl Douglas said, “Tell O.J.’s side of the story.” The second was sheriff’s deputies in the courtroom telling me that seven people sitting in that row, instead of the space-designed six, violated fire department code.

      Another reason I might not have noticed Dreyfuss in the courtroom is because I generally don’t recognize famous people. That was the case when Nicole Kidman attended proceedings involving a civil lawsuit filed against her for breach of contract and when Steven Spielberg was a spectator in a case of someone charged with stalking him.

      As for James Woods, I remember him attending the Simpson trial, but not the date. I’ll have to do a little research to see if I can come up with that information.

  4. Pingback: Richard Dreyfuss and the Mysterious Bouquet Revisited | Anatomy of a Trial blog

  5. I have been watching the OJ trial on youtube and I found James Woods sitting in court on the September 12 part 3 video.

  6. Thanks, Mike! Watching the trial on YouTube — sitting through the entire thing again — I don’t think I could do it. Once was enough. I’m glad you are and can answer questions like this.

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