Unwanted attention may follow

March 03, 2003|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD - Dale St. John owned the limousine company that drove for O.J. Simpson. On the night Simpson's former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman were killed, St. John, Simpson's regular driver, had to coach his son's Little League game and asked Allan Park to drive instead.

"It was a very interesting night, and a very interesting life after," Park says by phone from Texas, where he lives now.

At the height of the trial, Park's fame in the front seat would sometimes rival the fame in the back. One night, at a party for NBC's fall season preview, a minor TV star approached him in the parking lot. TV anchor Barbara Walters had been pointing him out.

"I guess I was the talk of the party," he says.

Although he gave a few select interviews (Larry King, People magazine), Park turned down a $50,000 offer from the National Enquirer. He never took money, he says. Once, though, he took a free trip - as a featured speaker on "The O.J. Trial of the Century Cruise," a weekend trip off the California coast.

"It was weird," he says.

Eventually, the attention became too much and Park left for Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast, where he spent six years. A few years ago, he moved to Austin, Texas. People still recognize him.

"A lot of times, I'll have fun with it and say, `People say I look like O.J.'s driver, but I don't think I look like him. That guy was a geek, man.'"

Recently, when his wife was in the hospital giving birth to twins, the anesthesiologist remembered him from TV. "My poor wife is having a baby, and he's sitting there, talking about the trial."

Park stopped driving limos after the trial. Today he is applying to become a sheriff's deputy. He's interested in forensics. And he still drives - for UPS.

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