Jailed football star O.J. Simpson says South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is “almost certainly innocent” of murdering his girlfriend earlier this month.
Simpson discussed the Pistorius trial and also opened up about his life in prison, covering his love life, his newfound fascination with celebrity court trials and his upcoming memoirs in an exclusive interview published today.
Simpson, 65, is serving a 33-year sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada for a 2008 conviction for the kidnap and armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas, though he may get another trial.
“We weren’t there, so we don’t know what really happened and shouldn’t jump to conclusions,” Simpson told The Hollywood Currant magazine when asked about the Pistorius case. “But from what I’ve seen and read about the trial, I think (Pistorius) is innocent. The evidence of his guilt is not there.”
Pistorius, 26, denies murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Feb. 14. He claims he thought she was an intruder at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. The prosecution claims the murder was pre-meditated following an argument between the couple.
If The Leg Fits…
Simpson said he sees potential conflict with the police investigation.
“Pistorius is a white man in Africa of all places, so it’s possible the racist police are planting evidence and lying about it,” Simpson said. “We all know that cops love to profile and to frame innocent people. That’s a fact. If I was Oscar’s lawyer, I’d talk about that.”
Simpson added: “And now we learn that Oscar’s brother is also facing a murder charge. I was like, ‘Come on, man, that’s damn convenient for the prosecutors.’ The justice system has gone crazy trying to convict this guy.”
Simpson is no stranger to high-profile trials, having been acquitted in 1995 for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman in a trial that gripped the United States and much of the world.
Several lawyers involved in the Simpson trial have provided regular commentary on the Pistorius case. The irony is not lost on Simpson, apparently.
“I never realized how interesting celebrity court trials could be, now that I’m on the opposite side of the camera,” Simpson said.
Simpson added he’s also been enthralled by the ongoing Jodi Arias murder trial in Arizona.
“That bitch (Arias) is a nutjob, abusing and killing a good man like that,” Simpson said, referring to Arias’ ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. “She’s obviously guilty.”
No Doubts in His Mind
Simpson said Pistorius’ version of what happened the night of the murder makes complete sense to him.
“(Pistorius) is walking around on his stumps without those (prosthetic) legs, he hears a noise in the bathroom and he assumes it’s an intruder,” Simpson said. “It seems like a reasonable assumption for anyone to make.
“So (Pistorius) grabs a 9 mm gun, which he wisely keeps under his bed, and shoots it. Why wouldn’t he? I’d do the same thing if an intruder broke into my house.”
Simpson also questioned “why the media automatically takes the side of Steenkamp,” the victim.
“We have been told that this girl is some angel, but I highly doubt that,” Simpson said. “We all know that women tend to lie and cheat and take your money. Maybe Oscar finally had enough and shot her – not that I’m saying he did it of course.”
Love Behind Bars
Besides following high-profile court trials, Simpson keeps busy in prison by working on appealing his 2008 conviction and by working on his memoirs, which he plans to release in the near future.
Simpson also opened up about his long-term romantic relationship with fellow prisoner Omar Jackson Koles, 45, who is serving 25 years for an armed robbery conviction in Las Vegas in 1997.
“Omar and I met in the cafeteria shortly after I arrived (in prison),” Simpson says. “We thought it was funny that both of us are O.J.s and we were both wrongfully accused and convicted of robbery, so we got to talking about it and found we had a lot in common.
“(Koles) played football in high school and college and was a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. He got my autograph after a game against the Dallas Cowboys in 1979.”
Simpson says he and Koles became inseparable, requesting that they become roommates about six months later.
Simpson says the two are now engaged and plan to get married.
“It was on Valentine’s Day, 2010, that I finally got the courage to propose to Omar, and he said yes,” Simpson says. “It was the happiest day of my life – and I do mean the happiest day of my life.”
Simpson’s complete interview is available in the new issue of The Hollywood Currant, now available on newsstands.