OJ Simpson reportedly wants millions of dollars from the TV network that nabs the first interview with him upon his release from prison.
According to the New York Post, once Simpson walks out of High Desert State Prison is Las Vegas in October after serving nine years for armed robbery and kidnapping- potentially as soon as Monday – he’s expecting a huge payout.
Simpson’s team has reportedly reached out to several outlets to gauge interest. It’s unknown if the interest is mutual, but the former football star is said to ask for anywhere between $3million and $5million.
Some possible names expected to snag the first interview are NBC’s Matt Lauer, Megyn Kelly or Lester Holt; ABC’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan; or CBS’s newest ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Oprah Winfrey.
‘He’s not talking for free,’ a longtime confidant reportedly told the Post.
‘It has to be the big one because he’s only going to do it one time and it has to be worth his while.’
The major networks have insisted that they don’t pay for interviews. However, popular shows such as Good Morning America on ABC and TODAY on NBC have shelled out money to ‘license images and video’.
‘They pay and he’s got photos from jail with his family and friends. He’s got some other stuff, too, that people have never seen before and this could be a major deal for any network, any show,’ the source said.
Although a television interview is expected, Simpson’s team isn’t certain that it will occur.
A backup plan has included pitching a reality television show and, in preparation, at least one member of his team will be allegedly filming with a camera when he walks out of prison.
‘OJ has his options open and that venue [reality TV] is something he could even be the executive producer on and have total say-so on,’ the source said.
He added: ‘There are companies who have made it known that a television show documenting what he’ll be doing, how he’ll greet his kids and what’s his golf game like, is a viable and potentially lucrative project because people still care, they still want to see OJ for better or worse.
‘He’s been away for nine years, but he still knows how to do business.’
If Simpson makes any money, however, he wouldn’t be allowed to keep it – seeing as he owes $25million to the family of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and $8.5million to the family of Ronald Goldman.
The two were found stabbed to death outside Brown Simpson’s home in June 1994.
Simpson was tried and acquitted for their murders in 1995 in what came to be known as the ‘Trial of the Century’.
However, in 1997, a civil court jury found him liable for the wrongful death and battery of Goldman and battery of Brown Simpson and ordered the massive judgment against him – a burden he’s managed to successfully dodge despite a reported $25,000 monthly NFL pension and a nearly $5million Screen Actor’s Guild pension.
Now aged 70, Simpson is also eligible for Social Security, but that and pension income are protected from judgments and creditors.