Christopher Darden Biography

Christopher Darden is a multi-talented American lawyer, author, lecturer, actor, and attorney, renowned for his role as a co-prosecutor in the high-profile O.J. Simpson murder case. With a challenging upbringing, he defied the odds and earned a BS degree from San Jose State University and a JD degree from the University of California, Hastings. Joining the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, he eventually became part of their Special Investigation Division. Notably, Christopher played a pivotal role as the co-prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, where he sought to prove Simpson’s guilt by presenting blood-soaked gloves found at the crime scene. Despite the gloves not fitting Simpson, he was acquitted. Following this, Christopher embarked on a new path, teaching criminal law, appearing on TV shows, and authoring crime novels and his autobiography. While he has been romantically linked with co-worker and attorney Marcia Clark, Christopher is now happily married to TV executive Marcia Carter, and they have three children.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Christopher Allen Darden
  • Age: 67 Years, 67 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Marcia Carter
    • Siblings: Michael Darden
    • Children: Tiffany Darden
  • Born Country: United States
  • Occupation: Actor, Lawyer
  • U.S. State: California
  • Ethnicity: African-American From California
  • Education:
    • San José State University
    • John F. Kennedy High School
    • UC Hastings College of the Law

Childhood & Early Life

Christopher Allen Darden was born on April 7, 1956, in Richmond, California, U.S., to Eddie and Jean Darden. His father was a shipyard welder, and his mother worked at a school cafeteria. He was the fourth of the eight siblings in his family and had a difficult childhood. The area he grew up in was notorious, and he was often caught stealing in school. His neighborhood was so noisy and crowded that he would often run away to his grandmother’s home. In ninth grade, when he got three Fs in school, he decided he would not be another drop-out and thus started working hard to improve his situation.

In 1974, he graduated from the John F. Kennedy High School. Christopher then joined the San Jose State University. There, he was part of the university’s track and field team. He was also a member of the African–American group Alpha Phi Alpha and was active in student politics. In 1977, Christopher Darden graduated with a B.S. degree in criminal justice administration. In 1980, he obtained his Juris Doctor (law) degree from the Hastings College of Law of the University of California.

Early Career and the O.J. Simpson Case

Four months after clearing the California Bar Exam in 1980, Christopher Darden joined the National Labor Relations Board in Los Angeles. He then bagged a job at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He initially worked at the Huntington Park office but then moved to Beverly Hills and eventually to the Criminal Courts Building (CCB) in Los Angeles (by 1983). While working as a prosecutor at the CCB, he worked in the central trials and gang units. In February 1988, he was transferred to the Special Investigation Division (SID). There, he met his future mentor Johnnie Cochran.

By the time he joined the O.J. Simpson case, Christopher had prosecuted 19 murder cases. By early 1994, he was planning to go on a long break to Australia. He was supposed to take over the charge of the District Attorney’s Office in Inglewood after his scheduled return. In June 1994, America was shaken by the murders of football star O. J. Simpson’s former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. The duo was brutally murdered on Nicole’s condominium in Los Angeles. Simpson, the prime suspect, tried to escape in his Ford Bronco, which was being driven by his friend Al Cowlings. Simpson was eventually charged with double homicide.

Christopher Darden was initially assigned to investigate the case of Al Cowlings. Following this, deputy district attorney Marcia Clark asked Christopher to take over as the case manager of Simpson’s case, as she and William Hodgman were handling several filings by the defense team. Christopher’s task was to prepare the prosecution’s witnesses, including the main witness, Detective Mark Fuhrman, to testify at the court. When Hodgman collapsed due to stress in the courtroom, Christopher became the co-prosecutor. The defining moment of the case was when Christopher decided to make Simpson try on a pair of blood-soaked gloves found at the crime scene, to see if they fit him. However, the gloves did not fit him, and Simpson was eventually acquitted in October 1995. Christopher faced a lot of backlash from his own community for going against a Simpson, who was a black icon.

Career after the O.J. Simpson Case

Following the O.J. Simpson case, Christopher Darden resigned. He joined the California State University, Los Angeles, and taught an undergraduate course in criminal law there. Christopher also worked as an associate professor of law at the Southwestern University School of Law. He specialized in criminal procedure and trial advocacy. Christopher Darden has also worked as a legal commentator for networks such as CNN, Fox News Network, CNBC, Court TV, and NBC. He has appeared in movies, series, and shows such as Liar Liar (in an uncredited role), Touched by an Angel, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Muppets Tonight, Roseanne, Girlfriends, The Howard Stern Show, and One Hot Summer Night (in the role of a policeman). He has also been the principal attorney in the legal show titled Power of Attorney. Christopher has also authored his autobiography, In Contempt, which features his experience with the O.J. Simpson case, in detail. Along with Dick Lochte, he has co-authored quite a few crime novels, such as The Trials of Nikki Hill (1999), LA Justice (2000), and The Last Defense (2002). The year 1996 saw him appear on the cover of Newsweek. He was also featured in the article titled My Case Against O.J. in the same issue. In 1999, he launched his own law firm, Darden & Associates, Inc., which dealt with cases related to criminal defense and civil litigation. In December 2007, the then-governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, considered him for a promotion to judgeship. In April 2019, Christopher represented Eric Ronald Holder, Jr., who was accused of murdering Nipsey Hussle. However, he quit the case in May, after getting multiple death threats. In April the following year, he represented a man accused of attacking a TV crew with a knife, at an anti-lockdown protest rally held in Huntington Beach, in the wake of the COVID-19 disaster. He was supposed to represent Corey Walker, the accused in the Pop Smoke murder case, in August 2020.

Personal Life

Christopher Darden fathered a daughter, Jenee, while in his second year of law school and proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Jenee’s mother. Unfortunately, she rejected his proposal. Though he later took up a job in the LA District Attorney’s Office, he continued to visit Jenee frequently. Jenee is now a freelance author/journalist based in Oakland. On August 31, 1997, he married TV executive Marcia Carter. They have three children. Christopher apparently has one more child (apart from Jenee and his three children with Marcia Carter) from a previous relationship. While working on the Simpson case, Christopher had become quite close to Marcia Clark. He later revealed they had been “more than friends.”

Popular Culture

The 2015 Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt parodied Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark. The 2016 FX series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story featured Sterling K. Brown as Christopher. Ezra Edelman’s documentary O.J.: Made in America featured Christopher’s footage.

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