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Marcia Clark Couldn’t Escape Brutal Personal Media Attacks During O.J. Simpson Trial

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 9/03/2016 Sara Boboltz
ATHENA IMAGE © Heidi Gutman via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Tuesday night's episode of "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" illustrated the unprecedented level of media scrutiny that deputy district attorney Marcia Clark faced in the 1994 O.J. Simpson murder trial. The National Enquirer dealt Clark a particularly nasty blow, however, when the tabloid published nude photographs of the attorney on a beach in 1979 with her ex-husband Gabriel Horowitz, whose mother leaked the images.

In an interview with People, Clark addressed all the unwanted attention the case brought her.

"I really didn't want the spotlight, but there was no way to escape it. And there was real hostility there," she told the magazine. 

"People would try to give me advice like, 'You shouldn't come across tough. Wear pastels. Talk softer.' I thought, 'So I'm going to present that I'm someone else? Then I'm some cream puff who can't take the heat?' There was no winning this."

The Enquirer published the nude photos in a February 1995 issue. Clark explained the fallout after it hit newsstands in her 1997 book, Without a Doubt.

I wanted to prove that I was tough enough to keep my head up and keep on working. I overestimated my own strength. No sooner had I taken my seat at the counsel table ... I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. ... Lance must have caught my distress, because, in a singular act of compassion, he quickly managed to recess court for the day.

It didn't take long after those photos were published for media pundits -- feeling free from concerning themselves with only relevant details of the Simpson case -- to begin questioning Clark's capability as a mother.

Vanity Fair, though, points out that the FX series actually reversed the real-life timeline, showing media swarming in on the attorney's divorce proceedings and custody battle with then-husband Gordon Clark before the leaked nude photos were published.

"American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" airs at 10 p.m. EST Tuesdays on FX.

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