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Former L.A. district attorney: Marcia Clark 'did an excellent job' in Simpson trial

Former Los Angeles County D.A. Gil Garcetti said that although he didn't want Marcia Clark as his first choice in the O.J. Simpson trial, it had nothing to do with her performance.
/ Source: TODAY

Having said publicly that Marcia Clark was not his first choice to lead the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson trial, former Los Angeles County district attorney Gil Garcetti clarified on TODAY Friday that he did not mean that as a slight to Clark's performance.

"I think they did an excellent job,'' Garcetti told Savannah Guthrie and Carson Daly. "Marcia Clark is a fabulous lawyer, Chris Darden is a wonderful, excellent lawyer. Bill Hodgman was the person that I picked, but when he had his heart problem, that's it, here's the team."

Garcetti told the New York Post in April in the midst of FX's hit series "The People vs. O.J. Simpson" that Clark was not his pick but became the lead prosecutor after Hodgman experienced health problems. On Friday, he said that was not meant as a slam on Clark.

"Not at all,'' he said. "(Clark) is a wonderful person, intense person obviously, but a very good trial lawyer."

RELATED: 20 years later, Marcia Clark blames herself for O.J. Simpson verdict: 'I always do'

Garcetti appeared alongside Ezra Edelman, the filmmaker behind the upcoming 5-part series, "OJ: Made in America." The film focuses on the forces that created the Trial of the Century in 1995, including years of racial injustice and police brutality in Los Angeles' African-American community.

"It was about race,'' Garcetti said about the trial.

The documentary reveals new perspectives from friends about Simpson's life. It also includes revealing footage of friends and family trying to hide his valuables before they were repossessed after he lost a $33 million civil suit to the families of murder victims Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

That scene is contained in part 5 of the series, which focuses on Simpson's life after his acquittal on two counts of murder.

RELATED: 'The People v. OJ Simpson': Victims' families speak out ahead of controversial miniseries

"It's impossible to know what is actually new,'' Edelman said. "I feel like after the acquittal in 1995, we all had OD'd on OJ and since then we just forgot about him. From what I've heard from the response so far, people watch the last hour and a half from the doc and say, 'I had no idea any of this happened.'"

RELATED: Ron Goldman's sister Kim furious over O.J. TV series: 'My brother was a hero'

The documentary attempts to show famous events like the chase in the white Bronco from a 360-degree perspective of all those surrounding it, Edelman said. It also includes the words of Simpson himself before the murders and during the trial, video of the currently incarcerated Simpson trying to charm his parole board, an interview with controversial former LAPD detective and pivotal trial figure Mark Fuhrman and more.

The five-part, 10-hour documentary debuts Saturday on ABC and then the entire series will air on ESPN as part of its "30 for 30" series beginning June 14.

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Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.