A comment that just showed up on a post on this blog more than a year ago prompted me to revisit a couple of events that occurred during the Simpson trial.
Here’s the comment, posted by Mike:
“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?”
I took a look at the photo in the CNN piece Mike provided the link to and, sure enough, there sat Richard Dreyfuss in what certainly appeared to be the Simpson courtroom in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building. So, here’s the link to my blog post about Dreyfuss and the Simpson trial and here’s my reply to Mike:
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 courtroom 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 <em>The Executioner’s Song</em> author Lawrence Schiller was hanging one 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.” I told Douglas and his colleague that the media seats were all assigned, so if they wanted Schiller to attend the trial, they would have to give him a seat in the defense section. I believe I said something like Schiller would have to replace someone they had already given a defense seat to. It didn’t occur to me that they was have him squeeze in with everyone else already there.
The second factor 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, so he would have to leave.)
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.