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The testimony by neighborhood housekeeper Rosa Lopez was another low point for Simpson. A tape was played that made it appear she had been aggressively coached by Shapiro's investigative consultant, Bill Pavelic. Simpson demanded an emergency meeting with his entire team. The lockup facility off the courtroom was not big enough, so Ito gave the lawyers special permission to use his emptied courtroom. By this time Simpson had changed out of his suit and back into prison garb. He was angry. "It was like a football coach of a losing team at half time just reaming everybody out," says a participant. "He kicked ass like a football coach does. It was really surreal because he had to bawl everybody out in his handcuffs."
Simpson could also work the nuances. though. At one point, Peter Neufeld had to argue that it was inappropriate for a defense expert to be questioned about past LSD use. Neufeld told Simpson he was thinking of comparing it to attacking Albert Einstein's theory of relativity on the grounds of his socialist views. Says Neufeld: "O.J. turned to me and, without batting an eyelash, said, 'Bad example. More on point, what about criticizing Sigmund Freud's views on psychoanalysis because he used cocaine?' "
SINCE FEBRUARY, CLARK HAD BEEN SEEKING advice in handling race--and the racism of Mark Fuhrman--from Melanie Lomax, a prominent black attorney who is currently L.A.P.D. chief Willie Williams' lawyer. Lomax would discuss the issue with Clark during late-night phone calls. "Marcia was trying to get a handle on how the race card was being played on the jury. She was always asking what the jury was buying. She was eager to hear any idea, and she was consumed with trying to read the jury." Lomax said Clark would have no credibility with the jury if she were to handle any of the race issues. Darden would have to address the matter in court.
"Chris was very angry," says a person familiar with the consultations. "Part of his rage is that he was dealt a bad hand. Both he and Marcia were focused on trying to neutralize the Fuhrman issue. They didn't know the depth or detail of Fuhrman's racism. They finally decided they had to call him as a witness. If they didn't, the defense would."
Cochran claims he did nothing manipulative during his famous exchange over the "N word" with Darden, who insisted that the word as uttered by Fuhrman on tape was too incendiary to be heard by the mostly black jury. "First of all, I had told Darden not to take Fuhrman," Cochran recalls. "But I was really disappointed with him. He came into the judge's chamber with a copy of Andrew Hacker's book, Two Nations. He gives Ito one of these things. I can't believe he's doing this. And basically, he's saying, if you allow these jurors to hear the word it's the most vile word in the dictionary; it'll turn this trial into whether these jurors believe that the brothers on the street think 'the man' is getting a fair trial. My first reaction was to say to Darden, 'Nigger, please...'" (The phrase is used by some blacks to silence other blacks talking nonsense.) "I was so furious with him. I felt it was an insult to all black people." Cochran argued passionately to Ito that the jurors could hear the word and remain impartial. "When I got up and spoke, that was not scripted. That was just from my heart."