What Is F. Lee Bailey Doing Now? Former Attorney Living Quiet Life In Maine
During Tuesday's episode of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, viewers were introduced to the how Simpson's "Dream Team" of high-powered, notable defense attorneys came together: We'd already met John Travolta as Robert Shapiro and David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian. In episode three of ACS, the team brought on Evan Handler as Alan Dershowitz, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran, Rob Morrow as Barry Scheck, and Dale Godboldo as Carl E. Douglas. And of course, the always charming star of stage and screen, Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey. But what about the real Bailey — what is F. Lee Bailey doing now?
Before the O.J. Simpson trial, the 82-year old Bailey was known for several high-profile cases, including defendants such as Sam Sheppard (whose story inspired The Fugitive tv show and film), Albert DeSalvo — better known as the "Boston Strangler" — and Patty Hearst, the famous newspaper heiress who committed armed bank robberies while under duress. However in recent years, the famous attorney hasn't practiced much law, mostly because Bailey was disbarred in Florida and reciprocally in Massachusetts. In 2013, Bailey was denied a license to practice law in Maine after the Maine Board of Bar Examiners denied his application.
Before his unsuccessful bid to practice law in Maine, Bailey relocated to the Pine Tree State, where he established Bailey & Elliot Consulting in 2010. The consulting practice specializes in business advice, mediation, investigation, polygraph testing, marine and aviation purchase consulting. His consulting partner also happens to be his girlfriend Debbie Elliot, a business owner in Yarmouth. The couple was recently featured on Maine's local Community Television Network in Community Kitchens.
Despite being unable to practice law in Maine, Bailey has remained active in local causes and interests. Bailey serves on the Advisory Team of MaineWorks, a temporary labor staffing company for industrial construction workers. In 2011, he consulted to help permanently bring the decommissioned aircraft carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy, to the Portland Harbor as a museum. Ultimately, that bid was voted down by the City Council. In 2013, Bailey was the commencement speaker at Southern Maine Community College. Bailey also appears to have a soft spot for pets, as he is an avid supporter of The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.
In a 2014 interview with WMTW, an ABC News affiliate in Portland, Bailey reflected on his involvement in the O.J. Simpson trial on the 20th anniversary of the white Ford Bronco chase. Bailey told WMTW News 8 reporter Paul Merrill that "The O.J. case was, unfortunately, a charade almost from the get-go," and that "The public was more poorly informed than in any other case that I've handled." Thought he hasn't spoken to Simpson since 2008, he still maintains his former client's innocence — despite the fact that he was never even paid for working on the Simpson case beyond $16,000 in expenses.
In ACS, Bailey is played by Nathan Lane, whose performance is already receiving praise since appearing in Tuesday's episode:
This is Nathan Lane's greatest role. And I've seen all his roles. #ThePeopleVsOJSimpson— Kathleen McCarthy (@kmccarthy121) February 17, 2016
To date, the real Bailey hasn't responded to the FX dramatization of the O.J. Simpson trial, or Lane's portrayal in ACS. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.