The O.J. Simpson Trial: The DeLorean DetourYou're Wrong About
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- 22 Feb 2021
To tell the story of the "dream team" we must begin by going back to the future. This week we learn why O.J. Simpson fired the man who defended John DeLorean and why a briefcase of cocaine isn’t always a smoking gun. Digressions include Bob’s Big Boy, Margaret Thatcher and the Fonz. Support us:Subscribe on PatreonDonate on PaypalBuy cute merchWhere else to find us: Sarah's other show, Why Are Dads Mike's other show, Maintenance PhaseLinks!1970 GTO Humbler commercial 1981 DeLorean commercialHoward Weitzman on John DeLorean in 2013 The "better than gold" tape John DeLorean Reinvented The Dream Car. Then He Totaled It.Delorean is Freed Key Witness Against DeLorean Begins Testimony Government Paid Informer Support the show (http://patreon.com/yourewrongabout)
Instead of MLM in the early 80s, people just had cocaine. I haven't I haven't had one. OK. Apologies in advance. Welcome to You're Wrong about the podcast where if the narrative doesn't fit, it ain't legit.
Oh, that's nice. Is that anything? That's a rhyme that you did there and the syllables are wrong.
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You're wrong about where we have lots of exclusive bonus episodes, including one that we just recorded about James, Charles and Totti and Shane Dawson and cancellations more generally.
And today we are talking about, I guess, the dream team.
We are, yes. Yeah. So we're talking about the Barcelona Olympics. This is a funny thing, right?
In the early 90s, the dream team referred to the basketball team at the Barcelona Olympics. Yes. And referred to O.J. Simpson's defense team, which I think had enough people on it to play basketball.
I was going to try to make a basketball joke for the tagline, but I couldn't I couldn't find it.
I don't think either of us know how to. We can't do that. Today. We are talking about the origins of his dream team. And Mike, you've already spent significant time with some of these people like us. Who who are these? Who are these people?
OK, all I know of any of these people is the actors who are playing them. So I know we have John Travolta with his eyebrow wigs. Yes.
And that is Bob Shapiro, who's like a celebrity lawyer guy, right? Yeah.
That's that's how Marcia Clark describes him. That's how he's seen. This is a really this is an interesting episode because we're going to talk about kind of layers of celebrity lawyer dumb and link.
What kind of celebrity lawyer does O.J. need? Because I feel like the narrative that emerged was that O.J., his lawyer at the time of the murders, Howard Weitzman. Oh, yeah. It's kind of a lightweight and that has moved to Shapiro is based on, you know, Shapiro like, he handles the big cases. He can save the celebrities.
But in reality, Howard Weitzman, it doesn't seem that obvious that he would be less substantial than Bob Shapiro.
I don't think. I mean, I wasn't shopping for lawyers in L.A. in nineteen ninety four. But we're going to talk about Howard Weitzman a little bit in this one, because he's the guy who is representing O.J. prior to him becoming basically the prime suspect in what is suddenly the most high profile crime in the United States. Yeah, and it's not really a foregone conclusion that he would be sort of quietly forced out as quickly as he was, I find interesting.
Who should I imagine in my brain? What is what is Weitzman look like? Oh, well, I have the perfect thing for you. I have some footage of Weitzman himself. Oh, so this is Howard Weitzman talking about what was at the time of the Simpson trial, his most famous case. You know what this is?
Is it going to be Menendez's? That's a good guess. It's farther back in time. And to give you a hint where we're going, we don't need roads.
What it's something related to back to the future and a clock tower, if you like, an IP lawyer. No, my brain is going in a million directions.
I'm going to send you a clip. This is him reminiscing about this case, I think, in twenty thirteen.
OK, funny. All these people are still alive. Rich people live a long time. I know. Oh my God. John DeLorean you want.
OK, so I just opened this link and the headline of the clip is why John DeLorean was not found guilty of Coke dealing.
Are you intrigued? I did. About any of this. Shall we watch it. Let's do it. OK, three, two, one, go.
There was a videotape of John DeLorean standing in a room with a suitcase full of cocaine and saying looking at it and saying it's better than gold and picking it up.
He picked up the brick kilo of cocaine and he said something about the weight and he said, Gold, this is better than gold. It weighs less than gold and and put it down.
So what I'm hearing is we are now embarking on a fifteen part series. Yeah. John DeLorean cocaine trial, obviously.
So tell us about this man who who who how would you describe Howard Weitzman?
So, OK, and I don't mean this in a mean way, but the only comparison that I could think of with Robert Blake, he looks kind of like Robert Blake in Lost Highway.
It's funny because my comparison and I want to emphasize I don't mean this in a mean way is. He reminds me of Ian home as Bilbo Baggins. Yes, superduper Baggins energy, yes, he has a very round face and kind of ears that stick out.
And I don't know what his stature is, but he has like short king vibes.
Yeah, he is a short king. I am well-trained in spotting fellow short kings.
Yeah. For the youth. Can you just give a little snapshot of who is this John DeLorean guy?
So, yes, I do have a couple of aides for you, Mike, and I'm really happy you asked. So first we're going to watch a commercial, OK? Is going to illustrate one of John Florian's career. Amazing. So he ran Pontiac. He worked for General Motors. And so basically the Pontiac GTO is unusual.
And it's a weird idea that people originally do not want to get behind because it is a smaller car with a large car's engine in it.
I feel like this is a great example of how just like corporations are just completely allergic to the concept of good ideas until someone somehow forces them through. He was like, people don't necessarily just want to be in really big cars or cars that are as big as possible.
Sometimes people want to drive a smaller car that has a lot of power and they might want to drive not in a stately way, but fast. Yeah, and also there's a youth market, if you will. And GM was like, I don't know, John.
And so here's here's how they got it through. OK, so basically they find a loophole where instead of saying this is a brand new standalone car, they say we're going to sell you the regular old Pontiac Tempest. But you can for an extra two hundred ninety five dollars, add this bigger engine.
So it's like it's not a new product. It's because they tweak to an existing product. So they introduce this in nineteen sixty four and they sell thirty two thousand. Quito's in the first year. Nice. So let's watch this ad so we can understand like what to really.
Oh my God. Three, two, one go.
Oh I know what. There's a lot going on. There's wow. This is like the model of masculinity that most Casey Affleck character seem to be following. Jane, you know, this ad has a lot of cuts. This is I a little film marketing. Yes, we. It's going to be. Sing your song. Oh, yeah. Oh, yes, this is a toxic fucking masculinity I've ever seen and I don't remember, Mike, it's the humbler.
Blair is here. This is the way it's going to be.
So there's like a unique disappointment when you're watching something, when you think it's going to be hella gay and then it turns out to be hella straight.
Yeah, it's basically a guy pulls into a, I guess, a drive in to Bob's big boy, I think.
But one of those like 50s drive ins where people were sort of outside of their cars and kind of milling about like they're not all sitting in their cars. Yeah.
And this extremely attractive dude drives up in a GTO humbler, I guess.
And it's kind of like, well, I'm like this loud thing. And the first reaction shot that we get is like another like hot as breakfast dude, noticing the first hot dude and like looking him up and down.
There's like elevado eyes, but it's elevator eyes on his car. It's like, hmm, what is that.
Yeah, you're right.
So it really it looks like this is like about to pop off and then it just becomes like a normal car. Adwar Then there's like a hot lady who notices and like a hot couple who notices.
And basically the rest of the ad is just this first dude in this dumb car driving around in circles around this like sad strip mall hamburger joint, just like run and like making a lot of noise.
But instead of being bothered like normal people would be, they're all like impressed by his, like, loud, smelly car, going to have an hour past them.
And then he just leaves at the end of the ad. He just leaves the parking lot and it's like, is this your ex-girlfriend hang out there or what?
Like, what's the story morning?
You know, it's also implying that this guy's life is really sad, right? It's like this is the car for if you're like a guy who's still hanging out trying to, like, hang out with high school girls, even though he graduated six years ago and you just drive around the Bob's Big Boy parking lot for no reason on a Saturday night, you're not even angry.
He doesn't even get a burger. Although I think there's this, like, fascinating thing. Has anyone in the history of the world been impressed by somebody else with a loud vehicle?
No, they're like a noise, especially if you're making a podcast.
You're just like, oh, my God.
But despite the fact that that ad is unpersuasive to both of us, because we lib's this is a staggeringly successful car.
And because of it, John DeLorean is credited for inventing the muscle car and kind of anticipating the next wave of American automobiles.
And so he still does extremely well at GM because of this.
It is weird how we have a social construction of like the oil and gas companies as these evil. You know, they all knew about climate change like 50 years ago. Like, they are very much built up as evil in the American mind. And I feel like American car companies.
It's not like we like them necessarily, but like they definitely skate by with a less bad reputation than the oil companies, which I find totally baffling.
It is cars are the number one killer of children in America like cars.
Now, I think it's I think it's switches.
Michael switches like transportation is the number one contributor to climate change. And yet somehow the car companies have escaped blame and like oil companies are also bad. But like, what are we putting all the oil in guys?
Strus it's straws. But so is that the sort of social construction of John DeLorean that he's like this maverick car executive or something? It becomes that, yeah.
Because basically after he invents the GPO, he kind of you know, he becomes as glamorous as a GM executive, I think can possibly be like he starts spending time in California. He dates Ursula Andress and Joey Heatherton, who he resigns from GM in April nineteen seventy three because he writes a speech that he wants to deliver about how the company is stagnating. And they need basically to be thinking more like John DeLorean. And the company is like, you can't give the speech.
And he's like, fine, I guess someone will leak it to the Detroit News. Nice. And then his idea when he starts working on after leaving GM is like an all-American, glamorous, flashy car for the people. That is like as exciting as a Ferrari, but is buy an American car manufacturer. And also, interestingly, his pitch is that it's a car that you won't need to replace, which is a very rare thing to manufacture, to even pretend to promise.
Yes, fascinating, because he's essentially like if he's successful, he's offering to maybe put himself out of business by doing what he intends to do.
So he's kind of like a.m. before a.m. there were like attractive clothes and there were cheap clothes and they were like completely different stores. Yeah. And then denim was like, what if we made cheap clothes that were also attractive?
The entire industry was like, holy shit, yeah.
So I think that's really the John DeLorean dream in a nutshell, the like normal Americans, you know, because the GTO is a thing of beauty, partly because it is accessible to people who can't get European sports cars necessarily, that Americans will have the best, safest, most reliable and most exciting looking car that there is and that, you know, and then America will make the best car finally.
So this is the original DeLorean ad from 1981. This is from the DeLorean Museum, where I would love to go. And it is safe to once again.
Oh, delightful. Three to one.
Go to the DeLorean. Gullwing doors rise effortlessly beckoning you inside the sleek stainless steel DeLorean. Beautifully crafted for long lines. The DeLorean is one of the most awaited automobiles in automotive history. Drive the DeLorean. Live the dream today, it looks pretty good, it's not a it's not an unattractive car. That's exactly what I would say, not an unattractive car. Sarah Marshall Carr's weekly. And only 6000 of these cars were ever sold.
What? It's that low. Yeah. God, that's like the virtual boy.
And not because of unpopularity so much as the fact that it became almost impossible to go on manufacturing.
Many people and things came between John DeLorean and his dream, the difficulty of starting a new car company. The fact that ultimately they located their factory in Belfast because they got a very sweet incentive from the government to create jobs there because the unemployment rate was so high, the fact that they needed to train a workforce to make cars. The fact that this car is designed in a way that makes it hard to imagine how you're supposed to park at the mall.
But the final nail in the DeLorean coffin was hammered in there by Margaret Thatcher. Oh, so this is from a Forbes article by Chuck Tanner. I'm going to read you a summary of the downfall. The biggest problem we had was that the first business plan that was developed once the project had come to Northern Ireland made it quite clear we're going to run out of money the day we produced the first car, says Barry Wells, author of Jonze The DeLorean and Me.
We always knew that. And that's why we were constantly under pressure to try and persuade the British government to give us just a bit more money. But that wasn't forthcoming. Seven months after breaking ground in Belfast, Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party came to power in Britain. She did not approve of the deal the Labour Party had struck with the American. Then, in January 1981, the first wave of cars had quality control issues, which led to bad press in the US.
Critics were thrilled with how the car looked, but the car was underpowered, offered so, so handling. And it was neither as groundbreaking, safe nor as fuel efficient as the worry and promised it would be.
Is that all? But it looks great. I mean, if you like that kind of thing, if they don't explode the money crisis through a plan, emerge to restructure the company and take it public.
As the DeLorean Motors holding company, the proposed stock offering would have personally enriched Floriane, the company's majority stockholder, by around one hundred and twenty million, but would have left anyone holding only options like the car dealers who had joined the dealer investor program with next to nothing. Of course, it would be a particularly bad deal for Margaret Thatcher and the British government. Thatcher cut off any further investment in the American company, placing the Belfast plant in receivership. In the end, only nine thousand VMC twelves were built, approximately six thousand of which were sold to customers.
Wow, I hate that you put me in a position where I'm agreeing with something Margaret Thatcher did.
Yeah, that is weird. How are you feeling? Very uncomfortable because basically, like, she's forced to outmanoeuvre to, like, outflank this guy before he screws her first.
There's something so cynical about all of this rhetoric around, like private sector innovation is so much better than the government. And then you look into any of these people, you zoom in on any of these companies and they're like on the government teat for like billions of dollars, which I think is fine.
But let's all be honest about it and subsidise the stuff that we want.
Yeah, and this is also the American model of innovation, which we are very familiar with, which is promise everything. Yeah.
To have a big idea, just decide that it's someone else's job to figure out how that all comes together, which is also that's totally what Elon Musk's thing is, is like announce your amazing big maverick idea and then just assume that like the force of your own will and belief. I think it's a basic belief that like the materials of the world are of less significance than your own dreams. Right.
And also make sure that no matter how much you fuck up, you get enriched by the bailout plan and then pass along the loss to everyone else when you inevitably fail.
So how do we get to the cocaine trafficking chapter of John Florian's life after this? Yeah, so this is very interesting, right?
Like, how does one get casually involved in cocaine? Yes.
So we know that at this point, John DeLorean is willing to do anything to suddenly get tens of millions of dollars. And so he has kind of an acquaintance, apparently their sons or friends. And in the past, before Dorians woes really began, this acquaintance was like, hey, you could get in on some cocaine trafficking with me or something, because casually, you know, like, have you ever considered the exciting new world of cocaine? Yeah.
Make a pallet with me.
And John DeLorean was like, no, that's fine. And then I can really easily imagine, like, if my car company is going under. Yeah, Maggie's just pulled the plug on my first technically legal but wildly unethical. I got to start getting creative and I'm like, what about that guy with the cocaine? It's funny because it sounds like the kind of plan that you would come up with while on cocaine, like late at night with your, like, random neighbor who happens to have a hook up.
You're like, oh, man, this cocaine is great. People would love this. People would love this. Yeah.
And so what John DeLorean doesn't know is that this acquaintance of his has already been tapped as an informant by the FBI.
I am not wild about this thing where law enforcement authorities make up crimes and then prosecute them.
Neither am I. Mike, there's been a bunch of infamous terrorism cases where FBI informants will spend years cultivating sources and basically talking them into planning a terrorist attack and then be like, how dare you plan a terrorist attack?
And like, spoiler alert, that's what happens with Dolorean. We have this very damning videotape of John DeLorean looking at this briefcase full of cocaine and saying it's better than gold, it weighs less than gold.
And whose briefcase was that? It wasn't John DeLorean briefcase. It was brought in to be on video on that meeting and to impress the jury with the fact that, like, here's a man who's got a briefcase of cocaine in front of him, but it was actually cocaine that they had seized from a smuggler. Nice. And we're like essentially using as a prop.
The whole thing is so counterfeit because we know from consistent findings in criminology that crime is very situational. Yeah.
It's not like people are either criminals or known criminals, regardless of the situation.
It's exactly the opposite. And so for law enforcement to create situations that encourage people to commit crimes, it's like totally illiterate about the nature of crime. There's been these things to take a total tangent that I've been mad about for months. There's been these, quote unquote stings in Seattle where they will leave a bicycle in a parking lot unlocked.
And when a homeless person comes by and starts riding it around, oftentimes they're looking for the owner. They'll sort of ride on the bike and be like, hey, does anybody know who's bike this belongs to? The cops will come up and arrest them for stealing a bike. I have a Vittorio Jéssica film.
The Seattle police should try.
And I know like John DeLorean is not like a marginalized population, like homeless people are.
And people don't leave briefcases of cocaine on the sidewalk when they don't want them anymore. And yeah, yeah.
You can't, like, just entice people that need money into like money making schemes and then be like, how dare you participate in this moneymaking scheme.
I feel as if maybe it speaks to the difficulty of prosecuting white collar crime, because I can imagine yeah. Looking at John DeLorean and being like this guy is shady as hell. And then you're like, well, we can't take him down for any of his shady business stuff because it's impossible.
But you know what? We can take people down for drugs.
Yeah, there is a lot of parallels between this trial and what eventually becomes OJs trial.
And one of them is that, like, this is huge and this also takes a long time to actually reach the trial stage.
I think they're in pretrial hearings and stuff for 17 months. So this shit has the time to loom very large in people's minds.
Yeah. So this is from Judith Cummings's coverage of the trial for The New York Times. And we're going to talk about James Timothy Hoffman, who's the deloria, an acquaintance who got him started down this path. Paul James. Timothy Hoffman, an informer, was helping the government put its cocaine trafficking case together against John Zyda Lorean. The government spent more than thirty two thousand dollars to protect and support him. A federal agent testified today. Mr. Hoffman also knew that he could be prosecuted for a past heroin violation any time his work failed to please investigators.
So far, Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Waters testified, was paid a total of one hundred and eleven thousand six hundred forty three dollars and forty three cents by the government from January nineteen eighty two when he began working as an informer. To date, that sum included expenses for five narcotics investigations. The money also covered living costs for Mr. Hoffman, his wife and the three of their four children who were living at home, Howard L. Weitzman and Donald Ray. Mr. de Loreen's attorneys said today that they construed what the government called expenses for Mr.
Hoffman to be equivalent to a salary. Yes, out of those expenses, they said Mr. Hoffman's rent, utilities, clothing and other bills were paid just as anyone else would cover them from their paycheck. Mr. Ray said Hoffman thought he had a good job that it was worth keeping.
So he's earning a literal salary to keep entrapping DeLorean.
Yeah, that's the Weitzman argument. Interestingly or ironically or something. I my understanding is that the way you get people involved in a criminal enterprise is you don't just make it appealing for them to help you. You also make it dangerous for them to not help you defend this guy. Hoffman is in that situation where he has strong. Financial incentive to keep putting together these entrapment or borderline entrapment deals. He's got a heroin charge over his head. Yeah, if he stops going along with the government, he's screwed and they're paying him pretty well.
That's basically the case that the Deloraine defense team is making.
This is a terrible way to detect crimes. So we're going to pay dirtbag's like a monthly sum so that they can go out and entice people into drug trafficking, people who would not necessarily be trafficking drugs otherwise.
And it's also this weird thing. We're like in sort of one of these government informant cases and you see this on Law and Order. It's really weird, these episodes where the original person who you as a viewer like get him, get that guy. They're like, we can't prosecute the Larry Miller character. We have to find out some sort of weird backdoor way, because now we have all this audience momentum and you guys want to make someone go to trial, right?
Yeah. And they're like, we're going to charge some random drug manufacturer with wrongful endangerment. And I feel like this is the kind of momentum that you get these kinds of the public accepting these kinds of versions of police work.
You may not want to go after this Hoffman guy.
Like he seems like he got into drug trafficking all by himself. Yeah. And it's just because of the fact that he was chosen as the informant, that his crimes become less relevant.
I mean, one of the things that we've seen as a thread through a lot of the moral panics that we've seen around street gangs and street crime and stranger danger on this show, there's this weird warping of the idea of detective work because this isn't detective work in any meaningful sense.
They're not finding like, OK, this guy selling drugs. Here's his supplier. Here's his supplier. Supplier. Right. Investigations like this come at the cost of investigating crimes that are actually happening.
Do you think somebody on this team like John DeLorean stole his girlfriend back when he was on the town? Because like this feels personal and I get that it might be advantageous legally to take this guy down. But once again, you know, you can't just invent crimes in place of the real ones.
Oh, but I think this is totally the Wesley Snipes effect, where agencies of the government, because they're doing so little enforcement and they're getting so few positive headlines, they deliberately look for celebrity defendants because they know that's going to be in the papers for months and it's going to make them look like these heroic cops that are doing busts like this routinely.
If you're an informant and you can dangle a celebrity defendant in front of law enforcement, that's going to be really enticing to them because it feeds a narrative that they're super duper competent, even when the case itself is evidence of how incompetent they are.
Which is another one of the reasons why when you skip ahead to the beginning of O.J. trial or the beginning of people hearing the news of him being a suspect, you can use pattern recognition and be like, what if this is the LAPD trying to look good by taking down someone prominent in the in the scheme of American police stuff?
It's a believable story. It's just in the details that it breaks down.
Yeah, exactly, because this is not the story of a high level celebrity drug trafficker. This is a story of a desperate, rich dude who turns to some really dumb ideas ultimately. But it's not like this guy's not a criminal mastermind for the drugs. He's probably criminal mastermind for like wage theft and like union busting.
But basically, let me show you footage of these clips. It's really great.
Oh, this is the clip of him talking about the cocaine.
Yes, this is the clip. We're going to see him with the cocaine.
And by the way, as someone who's watched a lot of oxygen over the years, like, I get really annoyed when people act like it's proof that you're a ruthless criminal. If you got excited about seeing a lot of cocaine or if you want to, like, lie in a pile of money like a lady on a snapped, I watched one time. Did there like it was proof that she would do anything for money. And I was like, excuse me.
If I were more comfortable about how clean money is, I would get the gumption to do that any old time.
It sounds fine. Just get small bills.
That's like the entire American ethos is that we should all be doing things for money at all times. Lie in a pile of money. Yeah, three to one.
The surveillance tapes obtained by the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes from Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt are only part of the evidence. But they do show four key meetings during September of nineteen eighty two between Deloria and the agents. September 4th, 1982, in a Washington, D.C. hotel room, Delawarean discussed is a vague business deal with an FBI undercover operative who offers to let DeLorean out of the deal. September 9th, at a bank in San Carlos, California, an undercover agent introduces Deloria into a phony banker who says he can provide.
Cash for the deal. September 20th, the Bel Air Sands Hotel in Los Angeles, the phony banker seated on the left and Dolorean meet a suspected big time drug smuggler, the real target of the undercover investigation, who says he won't get involved unless tellurium was involved. During the first three weeks of October, Delawarean assigned half of the stock of his company to the undercover agents, allegedly as payment for the drugs. And Hedrick imported two hundred and twenty pounds of cocaine from South America.
Patrick was arrested and pleaded guilty. The cocaine was seized. And on October 19th, in a hotel room in Los Angeles, the trap was sprung on John Deloria.
A suitcase full of cocaine was put before him, and he called it better than gold. The goal is more than a few minutes later, the FBI arrived and John DeLorean was put under arrest.
What do you think of that? So, I mean, it's clear that they wanted to get enough interactions and enough logistics between him and the undercover guy and the banker and the foreign drug dealer, whatever, to sort of establish that this was not just something that he was dabbling in.
Right. It's not just like they spoke once and he's like, yeah, cocaine sounds fun. And that the cops rush in there on some level doing that to cover up the fact that they're inventing this crime out of nothing. Right.
I often think of Clarence Darrow's closing argument in the Leopold and Loeb trial and specifically his point when he does that I love. And that is basically like force the judge to look at the implications of just sort of the popular rhetoric around this trial. And one of the things that people are saying at the time and what they still say now is like these boys have committed the most brutal, terrible, thoughtless, senseless, terrible murder that has ever happened in the history of Cook County or maybe Illinois or maybe America.
And for that reason, the state has to be as merciless to them as they were to their victim, Bobby Franks.
And Clarence Darrow gets up and it's like, so you're telling me that the government is supposed to emulate my crazy teenage murderer clients?
Are you sure you want to be doing that?
And I'm like, how should we be treating, you know, the FBI if they were rather than a government entity, a person like this would be someone. Yes. Who would be you know, they would be the originator of this entire scheme. They're the one who set this up. They're the one who's like John DeLorean. Seems like the kind of guy who traffics on cocaine. Let's get him in on this. Like, yeah, they are the party that has the most responsibility.
If this is a crime that individual actors are conspiring to commit to together, rather than one of the actors is secretly a government entity that doesn't really want to commit a crime. At the end of the day, there's also a weird thing that they're treating.
This sort of it's worth more than gold, a statement as some sort of smoking gun. Yeah.
When like, that's just a statement of fact. Yes, it is. Like, if you show me a bag of diamonds, I would probably be like, wow, it's worth more than gold. Like, yes, it is.
I be like they're so sparkly. And that doesn't mean that I came up with this idea to sell hot diamonds. I'm just appreciating the US.
It doesn't mean anything. Yeah. Like, I don't know why this is supposed to be this, like, moment on the video that sort of makes him look so guilty. It's like he's just saying stuff.
It's because they're like seeing if he goes for the cocaine, like, you know, which owner will Rigsy cuz it's Mamma Mia all over again.
And that he's appreciating the cocaine is an aesthetic object then it's like you guys are the ones who have all this cocaine that you can use as props all the time. I don't know.
Yes. So OK, let's, let's get to some Weitzman. So this is from the Forbes article again. During the trial that followed, Florian's attorney, Howard Weitzman, argued that the FBI had been able to entrap the desperate automaker because they knew he would do anything to save his business. And the evidence suggested Weitzman had a point, according to multiple reports at the time, the deal was presented to the Lorean by a paid FBI informant. Mandalorian said he didn't have the cash to pay for the drugs up front.
The informant promised to arrange the financing as long as he would put up his company as collateral. And although he showed intent, he never took possession of the drugs. It seems he never planned to pay for them either. The cocaine deal was yet another business venture into which DeLorean was not putting a dime of his own money. The government believed his agreement to hand over control of his company constituted proof of his willingness to participate. But DeLorean did not give them control of DeLorean Motor Cars Ltd or the DeLorean Motor Company.
Instead, he agreed to provide them with control of DMC Inc, a dormant shell company that had no assets. DeLorean was conning the con men.
This is why you don't prosecute cases like this, because you get wrapped up in these weird hypotheticals.
Yes, and I also love that Howard Weitzman team is able to be like, excuse me, he is innocent of this cocaine charge because he was being crooked in this other way. That makes it a moot point. Thank you.
Well, this is the whole thing if you prosecute. People that actually traffic drugs, you don't need to do this, like what were his intentions, what was he going to do after we arrested him type shit?
Oh, so after 30 hours of deliberation, Phil is acquitted of all charges.
Oh, I mean, he still seems like kind of a dirtbag, but it's good that this didn't work. But this is the point of American law. Yeah. Dirtbag's deserve justice, too, you know. However, after that, he went to trial for embezzlement and fraud and he was investigated by the Brits and he was tried by federal prosecutors and he still kept coming through. He was never convicted of anything. But you basically lost his empire. So that's what took it all down.
I mean, he was already financially fucked. Yeah. Going into this cocaine thing. That's why he was doing it. So I think he took himself down and then the government just sort of felt like when you have a fraying sweater. Right. And this is also from the Forbes article. He was never convicted, but accountants did recover almost one hundred million dollars for the creditors of DeLorean Motor Company and civil court over the course of nearly two decades.
Driven and this is to me, this is the saddest part. Driven into bankruptcy, DeLorean had to sell his home in New Jersey, where his nearly five hundred acres state was eventually purchased by Donald Trump. No, and converted into a Trump National Golf Club, which he frequently visits as president.
Oh, that's like the darkest epilogue it is.
Oh, that's because that's like the part and Wolf, of Wall Street where he gets taken down by the Benihana guy. A final thought on John DeLorean.
This has caused me to empathize with him.
At one point in his adult life, he got chin implants for himself and someone who is very self-conscious about having a week. And I just appreciate that concession to male vanity.
How tall is he, though? Oh, he was like six five, actually.
Oh, see, I only get solidarity under five seven. Yeah. Sorry, John. We'll find a short and trapped guy for you next. Thank you.
So is your contention that Howard Weitzman was like a good lawyer who probably would have been good for O.J.? Ultimately, Weitzman did a great job.
And here's some more coverage of that.
DeLorean interviewed other well-known defense attorneys here, but Weitzman and Ray had handled some early motions and were willing to give DeLorean one hundred percent of their time and return DeLorean signed over to Weitzman, whatever interest he has left, and a San Diego ranch. And in the New York apartment worth six point five million, Weitzman said he and Ray have paid more than three hundred thousand dollars of their own expenses while the properties are tied up in legal challenges. Asked why he is extending himself so far for the Lorean, Weitzman discards his usual jokes and rehearses a speech she will someday make to the jury.
If the government can do what it did to John, then God help us all because we're all next.
Wow. I feel based on this that it's very interesting that Howard Weitzman, like, regardless of what he was handling in the intervening 10 years between this and going to trial, had been successful in exactly the kind of trial that O.J. is facing right now. This is someone who is extremely well known, kind of a beloved American figure, a symbol almost of 60s masculinity and who falls from grace in a spectacular and highly shocking fashion and someone who will drop every other task, every other client, and dedicate all of their time and their own money to protecting and defending them like this is exactly what he needs.
And I just find it I don't know, before I kind of started looking at Wiseman's performance in this case and like how he describes it and how he talks about it. Years later, I was like, OK, whatever. Like, I don't know anything about this guy. It makes sense. We want Bob Shapiro. He's the shiny new guy or something.
But then I was like, this is this is folly, like the ideal lawyer for this based on previous victories and get rid of him. So the question is, why do we know we have some thoughts or. So we are now turning to Lawrence shellers, American Tragedy, which is the book basically from the perspective of the defense team, and this is where we have the infamous and very short, gentle questioning of O.J. Simpson. Yes. Thirty two minutes.
What is one of the notable things about that session?
What isn't there a lawyer? Mm hmm. Apparently, what happens is that that attorneys hang back. Weitzman, we don't need you in here. And we're only going to talk to O.J. if he doesn't have you present. Shiller writes, Weitzman New Vannatter was bluffing, but O.J. insisted he could handle this himself. No problem. Nothing to hide. That was the trouble with Superstar's ego image. Hmm. So they have their conversation. O.J. Encarnación, go back to Rockingham.
O.J. is convinced that they've stolen some money he had in his closet, that he won playing golf.
OK, you know, so he's just like he's kind of focused on on random stuff that doesn't really involve the case being built against him. In the midst of all this, OGAs assistant Kathy Rande gets a call from a guy named Roger King, who's just a random guy who, among other things, owns Inside Edition and knows O.J. kind of. But he's calling and he's like, we got to hire Bob Shapiro. He's the best. And O.J. is like, OK, I don't know.
You and Roger can track down Bob Shapiro where he's hanging out at the House of Blues that night. And he was like, OK, I don't know you, but like, sure, maybe.
So this whole thing comes down to like a random person calling and just giving a name.
Our friend from Inside Edition. You know, Roger, that's so weird.
It is so weird, right? It's so weird. He's got the guy who. Fred DeLorean. Yeah. I find this really interesting that like some person he barely knows from Adam is like, I'm going to hire a lawyer for you. And he basically just goes with it.
Yeah. It's like a really monumental decision to if you're like maybe kind of sort of being accused of murder, who your lawyer is is like a really big deal.
By the way, don't feel too sad for Weitzman because he's representing Justin Bieber now. He's doing fine. That kid is always getting in trouble with exotic animals. Yeah, that's true. So Bob Kardashian sleeps fitfully that night. And on the morning of June 14th, he drives back to O'Jays House from his home in Encino and shows up just as Howard Weitzman is leaving. And carjacking goes up to OJs bedroom where he's having some oatmeal. And OJ is still in the same place he was last night of just sort of continual verbal disbelief and denial.
Schiller writes that his voice rose as the words cascaded out. You know, they're treating me like I'm a suspect. They're treating me as if I did it. Now, O.J. moved to something more specific. Howard Weitzman at the police station yesterday. The lawyer had been wearing a suit after all. His role was obvious. The cops had asked some tough questions. They were looking hard at him. Go downtown to the lawyer and people think something happened.
Howard kept saying things would work out. It's normal that they want to question you, but they search the house all day long.
Is this what you do when you are used to handling people with huge egos like you develop a habit of just kind of going with their grain to make things easier, I guess.
But yeah, I feel as if Weitzman in that basically was like chose to let his client do the thing that would be worse for him. But I also feel like he's then like he's blaming Weitzman for things for his house getting searched, like he feels that sense of violation of like the cops have been through my house, which like I don't even like it when TSA goes through my bag.
So basically, Howard becomes a vessel for all of OJs irritation about how this case is going.
I think so. There's the fact that, like, Howard Weitzman was like around and he was the only lawyer who when this happened. And so, like, it has to be his fault. Like who's else's fault? Can it be? It can't be his fault.
Right. It's also an extension of all of the abuse dynamics we've seen with both Nicole and with Paula that this is the mindset of an abuser.
Right. That, however, I'm feeling is the reality. And I am going to take that out on whoever's around me and whoever made me feel that way. Yeah.
And also the way that, like, we push away the people that are capable of loving us, you know, as especially as narcissists, it's like O.J. above almost anyone else like this is this man like professed to love and stood by and spent a lot of money on John DeLorean.
Like, do you think you are going to find someone better suited to your needs?
Yeah. So I'm June 14th. OK, and Cardassian arrange his escape from Rockingham. They go one. Again, to OJs offices, and this is where they have their first meeting with Bob Shapiro. And so this is the Cardassian as told to Shila description, he had a cool, polite, precise manner, like a therapist, Cardassian thought. He's here to help Simpson seem to emerge from his lethargy. You have to hire the best investigators, criminalists, forensic people right now.
Shapiro said he must bring them in immediately to get an independent review of the evidence courtesy and asked if Howard should be brought into this conversation. Shapiro said no. Next, he asks Cardassian to leave.
So I love how Bob Shapiro, according into this telling, is like, just let it happen.
Just let me be your lawyer.
He moved on him like the driver of a Pontiac GTO at a hamburger drive in nice.
He's like, I rumball allow it. Yeah, I get why this would appeal to O.J. and probably would appeal to like any client. Right. Because he comes in and he's like, we have to get the best people, the best forensics, the best crime scene, the best experts, the best of everything for you. Because this case and your innocence are so important. We need the best of everything for it. It's kind of appealing.
It's very masculine. It's like this whole thing with the performance of confidence and competence is more important than demonstrating actual competence. Yes.
And I feel like this is like, of course, O.J. wants an acquaintance of an acquaintance. This is also why he would relentlessly have affairs if you're married because like a new person doesn't know what you're like.
It's funny to me how easy it is to scam people like O.J., like people with this kind of worldview that sort of go fast and act on their emotions without realizing that they're acting on their emotions.
It's like it's so easy to do some razzle dazzle with these people and convince them of basically anything like I have seen this working in international development. I've seen this with billionaire philanthropists to that they'll meet somebody like at the coffee break table at fucking Davos. And after five minutes, they're giving them millions of dollars for their asinine development idea. And it's like, do you not realize how easy it is to convince you of this bullshit? Like, it's incredible to me that they don't see their own patterns.
Rich people can afford to be impulsive, too.
Yes. This is not mastermind behavior. This is someone who has failed to progress past the most elementary emotional stages and is maybe trapped there. OK, so they have this meeting.
OK, likeSome, and basically it starts to happen. They're all just like us. Just kind of what does happen. You know, it's like he's moving in. Howard Weitzman is lighting up all of the possible phone lines that could got him the OK. And no one is taking his calls. He's calling Bob Kardashian as well. And Lauren's killer writes, It made Kardashian squirm. He'd known Howard nearly 40 years and he hated seeing a friend treated this way.
But he said nothing. Something was happening here that took precedence over a value friendship, Kardashian and realized he had crossed some threshold whether he had planned to or not. So the next day, June 15, Bob Carr Ashton gets another call from Howard Weitzman because finally, Skip Taft, OK, business advisor whose name I love, has called Howard Weitzman and let him go. Shiller summarizes the call as OK, wanted to make a change. He was hiring Robert Shapiro.
Why hadn't his old friend protected him from embarrassment or at least warned him so he could protect himself? It was very unpleasant, personally, as someone who constructs my entire life to avoid getting yelled at, like I really feel like I'm getting Bob Kardashian in this moment. What do you mean?
You know, he's like, sorry, it just kind of happened around me and I should have said something, but I didn't, you know, it's like he's hedging everything, basically, and doing everything within your power to avoid being the bearer of bad news, which I feel like if you have weathered the decades as one of O.J. Simpson's best friends, like, you know, this is another thing he has and, well, this might be the only thing that PANKRATION has in common with Kato Kaelin, but they both seem to be people pleasers.
And that very afternoon, Howard Weitzman goes on YouTube and wonders, is there a Canadian singing sensation who will later on the legal representation?
And that man was Michael Bublé.
So next time we're going to continue to talk about the dream team we are.
Now, I realize that this is like the really fun part of the most fun kind of movie, which is a heist movie, which is where you assemble your crew.
Yeah. You get the team together. And so now that Bob Shapiro has hatched first and consumed all the other larva, he's going to assemble the crew. And we're going to talk about who these people are, where they came from, what their deal is, what kind. Shady shit they've been up to. Oh, yeah, and what they're bringing to the team, I am going to need some montages. Oh yeah.
Also, do you want to hear a celebrity cameo that I didn't get to? Oh, sure. So this is from a profile of Weitzman around the DeLorean trial. Weitzman lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife, Margaret. Twenty nine, who sits with the wife Christina every day in court. Weissman's 12 year old son Jed lives with his first wife, who is now married to actor Henry Winkler.
So I guess, you know, in conclusion, OK, why didn't why did you make this also hard for yourself when you were only one, you know, when your original lawyer had you one person away from the guy who could come in and slam the Harry with his elbow and make it all go away and could keep this entire defense from jumping the shark?
I'm going to do it.