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Sacha Baron Cohen was trained by an FBI interrogator for O.J. Simpson interview

Hanna Flint
Contributor
British actor Sacha Baron Cohen attends For Your Consideration Red Carpet Event for The Showtime Series "Who is America" on May 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

Sacha Baron Cohen went to great lengths for his TV series Who Is America?

The comedian has revealed that he hired an FBI interrogator to prepare him for his interview with O.J. Simpson in the hopes of securing a confession for the murder of the former NFL’s player’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson.

“I had an absurdly ambitious aim,” Cohen admitted in a roundtable interview hosted by The Hollywood Reporter . “I trained up with an FBI interrogator...I thought, ‘Let me try it,’ because it was hidden camera - if he's ever going to admit it, it would be in a hotel room where he thinks he's going to earn a lot of money.

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“So I trained with supposedly the greatest FBI interrogator, and eventually he goes, ‘Who's this for?’ And I go, ‘It's for O.J.’ And he goes, ‘That's going to be tough.’”

According to Cohen, he was given a sequence to memorise that the FBI used when trying to get a tough confession but it didn’t work.

Sacha Baron Cohen interviews O.J. Simpson for Who is America? (Credit: Showtime)

The comedian, known for his award-winning characters Borat and Ali G, had dressed up and worn prosethetics to become Italian billionaire playboy and fashion photographer, Gio Monaldo, one of the many fictional aliases he had created for the series.

Monaldo claimed to be a middleman for a fictional sheikh who was willing to pay a seven-figure sum to Simpson if he confessed to the 1994 murder of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her partner, Ronald Goldman.

It had been reported the the production had paid Simpson $20,000 (£15,500) to appear on screen.

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Simpson’s involvement in the series has been long-rumoured, with reports emerging earlier this year that suggested Baron Cohen had paid the former American football player $20,000 (£15,500) to appear on screen.

Claiming to be working as a middleman for a fictional sheikh, Baron Cohen’s character says that his client would be willing to pay a seven-figure sum to Simpson if he confesses to the 1994 murder of Simpson’s ex-wife and her partner, Ronald Goldman.

Simpson was famously acquitted of the double homicide in the criminal courts but in civil court was found liable for the pair’s deaths and ordered to pay $33.5m to their families.

He was jailed for nine years for his role in a 2007 armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel and was released on parole in October last year.