Gloves that O.J. Simpson wore as a commentator during at least one National Football League game are the same unusual type as those linked to the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, a glove expert testified Tuesday.
Looking at one photo featuring Simpson at a Jan. 6, 1991, Houston-Cincinnati playoff game, former Aris Isotoner executive Richard Rubin said he is sure that the dark brown gloves Simpson was wearing were the same limited-production model as those collected as evidence in the stabbing deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
“How certain are you of that?” asked prosecutor Christopher Darden, gently leading Rubin through rebuttal testimony which lasted about four hours.
“I’m 100 percent certain,” Rubin replied.
Inspecting a series of photos and still frames of videotape taken of Simpson at frigid NFL games from 1991 to 1994, Rubin told prosecutors and defense attorneys that the sportscaster appeared to own brown and black pairs of relatively rare extra-large Aris Isotoner Light gloves, model No. 70263.
Only Bloomingdale’s offered that model, said Rubin, who testified in June about the bloody brown gloves police found - one at the murder scene outside Nicole Simpson’s home and its presumed mate on Simpson’s property the morning after the June 12, 1994, murders.
A credit-card receipt proves the Simpsons had shopped there, too; a Bloomingdale’s saleswoman, in earlier prosecution testimony, told jurors that Nicole Simpson had bought Aris Isotoner Lights on Dec. 18, 1990.
For prosecutors, Rubin’s return to the witness stand was a chance to erase jurors’ memories of a disastrous June 15 demonstration when Simpson tried to squeeze his hands into the bloody gloves, which appeared too small.
Referring to one photo, taken by photographer Michael Romano at a Los Angeles Raiders-Buffalo game in January 1994, Rubin pointed out an additional link to the gloves police found: a beige and burgundy Aris tag, sticking out in fuzzy relief against Simpson’s overcoat.
Darden referred to the glove found outside Nicole Simpson’s home on Bundy Drive. “The glove found at Bundy,” he said. “Does it have an Aris tag?”
“Yes it does,” Rubin said.
“And how does that tag compare to the tag on the (glove in) the Mike Romano photograph?”
“Same location, same size,” Rubin answered.
But the similarities do not prove that other manufacturers didn’t make comparable models, Simpson attorney Robert Blasier argued.
At times sarcastic and occasionally sneering, Blasier tried to portray Rubin to jurors as a star-struck witness hoping to curry favor with prosecutors.
Blasier read an excerpt from a letter Rubin had sent prosecutors in July. “Please thank everybody for (their) hospitality at the time of my visit,” Rubin wrote Darden and others. “Maybe I can make it to the victory party!!”
“This statement was made in jest,” answered Rubin, embarrassed. “It meant nothing.”