What Happened To Shawn Chapman Holley From The OJ Simpson Trial?

In the late evening hours of June 12, 1994, the bodies of 25-year-old Ron Goldman and 35-year-old Nicole Brown Simpson were found outside her Los Angeles home. As reported by ABC News, both victims were murdered, and it was eventually determined their killer used a knife to commit the crime. Later that same month, authorities identified Nicole's former husband, O.J. Simpson, as their sole suspect in the murders. Simpson was ultimately arrested and charged with the murders of his former wife and her friend. The subsequent trial gained international attention, and the not-guilty verdict sparked controversy that remains to this day.

As a managing partner of the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm, Insider Exclusive reports that Shawn Chapman Holley became known as an integral part of Simpson's defense team. However, she has also represented other high-profile clients, including Snoop Dog, Tupac Shakur, Larry Johnson, and Black Panther leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt.

She began her career as a Los Angeles Public Defender

A native of Los Angeles, California, Shawn Holley attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned her undergraduate degree. She then attended Southwestern University School of Law, where she earned a Juris Doctor degree. Upon graduation, KWIKH Law says Holley began her career as a Los Angeles public defender. While working for the LA public defender's office, Holley gained extensive experience defending those facing criminal charges. After handling hundreds of criminal cases as a public defender, Holley was eventually offered a position with The Law Offices of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. — where she became part of the "Dream Team" representing O.J. Simpson in his murder trial.

In an interview with Lawdragon, Holley said the experience of being part of such a high-profile case "was amazing." Holley said she and the rest of the defense team "worked tirelessly seven days a week (including holidays), 12-15 hours a day to assist a client who [they] believed, at the time, was wrongfully accused."

She believed O.J. Simpson was innocent

Shawn Holley said she and the rest of O.J. Simpson's so-called "Dream Team" were elated with the not guilty verdict. However, as reported by Lawdragon, they were dismayed by the largely negative reaction and disparaging remarks from the general public and the media. In the years after his acquittal, though, Simpson agreed to an unusual interview with Judith Regan, in which he described how the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson would have happened if he had committed them. As reported by TMZ, Holley found the interview quite disturbing. However, she did not feel like Simpson's words were akin to a confession. Holley said both the interviewer and Simpson made it clear he was speaking hypothetically.

As noted by Law & Crime, Holley reiterated the fact that she and the rest of Simpson's defense team honestly believed he was innocent when they agreed to try his case. However, she admitted that "a lot of years have gone by ... a lot more evidence has come out since then." Although she expressed things had clearly changed, she was unwilling to discuss whether her opinion of Simpson or her thoughts about his guilt or innocence had changed.

Shawn Holley has been honored with several rewards

Amid the aftermath of the O. J. Simpson trial, Shawn Holley said she grew weary of the media in general. However, Lawdragon reports that she eventually participated in a number of television programs in which she provided commentary and legal opinions of high-profile legal cases. In addition to appearing on "Power of Attorney" and "The Verdict," Holley was an integral part of E!'s coverage of Michael Jackson's trial. As reported by KWIKH Law, Holley has also appeared on CNN, Court TV, Fox News, "Good Morning America," and the "Today Show." She has also provided legal analysis for KABC Eyewitness News in Los Angeles on multiple occasions.

In the years following the O.J. Simpson trial, Holley received numerous honors and awards, including the Dublin University Law Society's Trinity Praeses Elit Award. She was also named a "Power Lawyer" by The Hollywood Reporter and a "Super Lawyer" by Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine.

She represents clients in civil and criminal trials

According to KWIKH, Shawn Holley has also represented a number of high-profile clients, including Justin Bieber, the Kardashian and Jenner families, Lindsay Lohan, Shemar Moore, Nicole Richie, and Mike Tyson. Although many of the cases are criminal in nature, Holley also has extensive experience with civil cases and provides those services to her clients.

In 2006, Holley joined the law offices of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump as their fifth partner. In an interview with Deadline, fellow partner Dale Kinsella said, "Shawn is an incredible lawyer. Her trial skills are unparalleled, and even more important is her ability to quietly settle matters before full blown litigation takes place. She has been a key player in establishing our firm as Hollywood's go-to litigation shop." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Holley said she thinks her experience as a criminal defense attorney has given her a "soft touch in ways that others might not. I think that you develop that skill and that muscle and that heart, or you already had it."

She is currently representing Danny Masterson

In 2021, Shawn Holley joined the defense team of Danny Masterson, who is best known for his role in "That '70s Show." As reported by Us Magazine, in 2020, Masterson was charged with several criminal counts related to the alleged rapes of three women. Three years earlier, five women came forward with accusations that Masterson raped or sexually assaulted them in the early 2000s. Two of the women said they formerly dated the actor, and the other three knew him through the Church of Scientology.

Us Magazine reports Masterson has vehemently denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. The actor said (Us Weekly), "I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused." Holley joined Masterson's existing attorneys — Sharon Appelbaum, Philip Cohen, and Tom Mesereau — to defend Masterson against the charges (via Rolling Stone). The trial is scheduled to begin on August 29, 2022.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).