O.J. Simpson on verge of prison release is ready for life’s ‘simple pleasures,’ attorney says
Jason Bean/Pool/Getty Images(LOCKLOVE, Nev.) — After nine years in prison, O.J. Simpson could have to wait “a few days” beyond his earliest eligible release date to leave the Nevada Department of Corrections facility, his attorney said.
Simpson was granted parole at a hearing on July 20, and the earliest date he is eligible for release is Oct. 1. But Simpson’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, told ABC News that his client’s departure from prison may be delayed a few days by the need for transportation.
“Oct. 1 falls on a Sunday and, except for essential workers, I think it’s going to be highly unlikely that the Nevada Department of Corrections is going to have any type of resources to be able to transport Mr. Simpson anywhere,” LaVergne said. “Mr. Simpson’s making arrangements. He has to go through the Nevada Department of Corrections, the Nevada Department of Parole and Probation and, at some point very soon, he will eventually have his release plans and he will be able to get out.”
But once Simpson is able to leave, LaVergne said his client plans to go to Florida and enjoy life.
“He wants to go to Florida. He wants to see his family and hug his family on the outside of prison. He wants to eat seafood; he wants to eat steak. He wants to enjoy the very simple pleasures that he hasn’t enjoyed in nine years. I spoke to him. He’s going to get the latest iPhone.”
Tom Scotto, one of Simpson’s longtime friends who has visited him in prison frequently, told ABC News that Simpson “is going to live his life.”
“All he wants to do is spend time with his family and friends and his kids. And play a little golf,” Scotto said.
Simpson has been held in isolation at the prison for safety reasons since the parole decision on July 20. He, according to LaVergne, has been “bored out of his mind.”
“It was not a good situation. Mr. Simpson is very much a people person, enjoyed all the privileges of the general population the entire time he was there,” LaVergne said. “That quick change really did do him in for about a month or so, in terms of the boredom level. But as time’s gone on and he’s making the arrangements to get out — last night he was very excited and sounds very upbeat, so I’m anticipating that he’s in very good spirits now.”
Once Simpson is released, LaVergne said that while there is some concern that he may be chased by paparazzi, he believes the Nevada Department of Corrections will plan for Simpson’s safety during transit.
“That is a concern of mine, and it really is the ultimate concern of the Nevada Department of Corrections because they’re the ones who are going to have to properly get this thing done with Mr. Simpson,” LaVergne said. “I do believe that all these things are being done for Mr. Simpson’s safety concerns so that we don’t have these chases, we don’t have helicopters and we don’t have all these things.”
Fred and Kim Goldman, the father and sister of Ron Goldman — who was killed along with the former football star’s wife, Nicole Brown Simpson — have said they are disappointed with the decision to grant Simpson parole. The Goldmans said in a statement that they will continue pursuing the civil judgment against Simpson awarded to their family, an amount they say has grown to $60 million.
But LaVergne said that “doesn’t matter.”
“It might as well be $6 billion — it just doesn’t matter,” the attorney said, adding, “This is why you don’t sue judgment-proof people in private-party civil lawsuits. They can do whatever they want. … That doesn’t affect Mr. Simpson’s life; it doesn’t affect my life. And as long as they limit their conduct to collecting on lawsuits and getting their media publicity, I’m fine with that.”
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