Former NFL football star O. J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his wife in 1995 after one of the most sensational trials of the 20th century. On June 12, 1994, Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, was the victim of a gruesome and bloody murder along with an acquaintance named Ronald Goldman. Police were immediately suspicious of Simpson who attempted to flee in a now-infamous white Ford Bronco driven by his friend Al Cowlings. Simpson's trial, which was nationally televised, made household names out of many of the participants including defense lawyer Johnny Cochrane, district attorney Marcia Clark, judge Lance Ito, and Simpson's houseguest Kato Kaelin. On October 4, 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted. The jury, which reached its not-guilty verdict after only three hours of deliberation, had been sequestered for 266 days -- the longest such period in U.S. legal history.
On June 28, 1997, in what would become known as "the bite fight", Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear, purportedly in retaliation for Holyfield headbutting him. Tyson lost a point, but the fight continued. When Tyson bit Holyfield's other ear and actually removed a chunk of flesh, he was disqualified. Tyson would later be fined $3 million and have his boxing license revoked. Holyfield's ear had to be surgically re-attached after the fight.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman and manager Pete Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 for allegedly gambling on the game. For more than 14 years, he denied these accusations, but in January 2004, he released his autobiography, My Prison Without Bars, in which he came clean about his gambling. He even acknowledged betting on his own team, but never to lose. In the book, he wrote: "I never allowed my wagers to influence my baseball decisions so, in my mind, I wasn't corrupt." Rose earned his place in baseball history on September 11, 1985, when he set the all-time major league hits record with 4,192, surpassing legendary Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. Rose, who earned the nickname "Charlie Hustle", amassed a total of 4,256 hits by the time he retired in 1986.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Elle MacPherson was born in Australia on March 29, 1964, with the name "Eleanor Gow". Her parents divorced when she was 14 years old, and when her mother remarried Elle took her stepfather's name -- MacPherson. One of Sports Illustrated's most popular models, Elle has appeared on its cover four times.
In his 1991 biography, A View From Above, Wilt Chamberlain wrote that he had had sex with approximately 20,000 women. "At my age," he wrote, "that equals out to having sex with 1.2 women a day, every day since I was fifteen years old." Chamberlain's claims ignited a wave of public criticism (and skepticism), to which he responded, "I don't see all this lovemaking as any kind of conquest; all I'm saying is that I like women, people are curious about my sex life, and to most people the number of women who have come and gone through my bedrooms (and various hotel rooms around the country) would boggle the mind." Chamberlains greatest accomplishment on the court took place on March 2, 1962, when he personally scored 100 points against the New York Knicks.
On January 14, 1954, Marilyn Monroe and New York Yankees baseball legend Joe DiMaggio were married. The romance was not meant to last, however, and just nine months later Marilyn announced from their rented Beverly Hills home that she was filing for divorce. "It's all on account of our careers," she said. Still, Joe and Marilyn remained close and began spending time together again after her divorce from playwright Arthur Miller. In 1962, after Marilyn was found dead from an apparent suicide, DiMaggio sobbed almost non-stop through her funeral service, and for the next twenty years he expressed his devotion by sending roses to her grave three times a week.
On April 19, 1997, tennis star Andre Agassi married actress Brooke Shields in a lavish and expensive ceremony. But the couple seemed doomed from the very beginning and there were seemingly endless tabloid stories suggesting that the marriage was less than blissful. They officially divorced on April 9, 1999. It didn't take long for them to move on, however, and in 2000, both celebrities remarried -- Agassi to fellow tennis star Steffi Graf and Shields to TV writer Chris Henchy.
In 1992, former NFL defensive lineman Lyle Alzado died a very ugly and public death from brain cancer. He blamed the disease on his longtime steroid abuse. Alzado, who played for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and L.A. Raiders during his career, was one of the NFL's premiere pass rushers and had embarked on a successful acting career before being diagnosed with the cancer. Before he passed away, Alzado admitted: "I started taking anabolic steroids in 1969 and never stopped. It was addicting, mentally addicting. Now I'm sick, and I'm scared. Ninety per cent of the athletes I know are on the stuff. We're not born to be 300 lbs or jump 30ft. But all the time I was taking steroids, I knew they were making me play better. I became very violent on the field and off it. I did things only crazy people do. Once a guy sideswiped my car and I beat the hell out of him. Now look at me. My hair's gone, I wobble when I walk and have to hold on to someone for support, and I have trouble remembering things. My last wish? That no one else ever dies this way."
Eddie Arcaro was one of the greatest jockeys in the history of horse racing, but he rode 250 losers before he won his first race. By the time he retired, Arcaro had racked up 4,779 wins on such famous horses as Whirlaway, Citation, and Kelso. He was also the only jockey in history to ride two Triple Crown champions -- Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948.
During the 1988 Olympics, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson set a world record in the 100m with a time of 9.79 seconds. Within 48 hours, however, Johnson had been disqualified, stripped of his medal, and sent home after testing positive for Stanozol, a banned anabolic steroid. It was later learned that Johnson had been using steroids for eight years. The International Amateur Athletics Federation awarded Johnson's gold medal to the second-place finisher, Carl Lewis of the United States.