Subdued O.J. Gives Deposition

LOS ANGELES -- O.J. Simpson sometimes spoke barely above a whisper in his first sworn testimony about events surrounding the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, but one attorney said he heard enough to know he was lying.


Nearly four months after his acquittal, Simpson sat down Monday in a Los Angeles law office and began answering questions under oath in a wrongful-death civil lawsuit brought against him by the victims' families.


It was his first face-to-face showdown with opposing lawyers. He opted not to take the witness stand during his year-long criminal trial. The case ended with a jury clearing him of the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.


Subdued and at times speaking so softly that he could barely be heard, Simpson was grilled for several hours by the Goldmans' lead attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, according to a lawyer who was present for the deposition.


In the first in a series of closed-door interrogations, Simpson was questioned about the June 17, 1994, car chase in which he led police down the freeway in a Bronco before surrendering at his Brentwood mansion, according to Michael Brewer, attorney for Goldman's mother, Sharon Rufo.


Simpson was asked about his actions and feelings the day of the chase and about a letter he left only hours before with his friend, Robert Kardashian, that many interpreted as a suicide note.


Simpson gave simple yes or no answers to some questions and occasionally refused to respond, according to Ron Goldman's father, Fred Goldman.


Brewer said later that Simpson's answers were inconsistent on "several major issues" and claimed he was not telling the truth.