"Not true!" she told Dunne. "I have far better jewels than Sunny von Bulow ever had."
Dunne's stories were filled with revelations such as these. "He was a great listener," said New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin, who became friends with Dunne during the first Simpson trial. "People just loved to talk to him."
When the Simpson trial opened in 1995, Dunne's sympathy for the victims was so well-known that Judge Lance Ito assigned him a front-row seat in the courtroom. Reporters for major newspapers, including The Times, were relegated to the rear. One annoyed reporter called Dunne "Judith Krantz in pants."
Privileged or not, Dunne worked very hard, always arriving at the courthouse early and recording every wink and nod.
Dunne's insider accounts of the Simpson trial for Vanity Fair and commentaries on Court TV elevated him to a new echelon of celebrity. He covered the proceedings by day and dined out on them at night, entertaining the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Reagan and Princess Diana with stories from the so-called trial of the century. "O.J. Simpson improved my social position," he told USA Today in 1997.
His obsession with the case inspired “Another City, Not My Own” (1997), a "novel in the form of a memoir" based on his involvement in the Simpson murder trial.
Dunne felt it was fitting that Simpson's armed robbery trial should be the last one he would cover. The octogenarian attended the trial against doctors' orders, unable to resist what promised to be the final curtain in a protracted saga.
"I've lived this very dramatic life, with high points and terrible low points," he told a London paper as the trial drew to a close. "Nothing has been ordinary, and I want to have the experience of the last breath. I want a little drama to it. I don't want to die under anesthesia. I'd rather be shot to death in the Plaza or Monte Carlo by Lily Safra. I want something in the papers."