The football legend whose every move has fallen under the harsh glare of the media spotlight since his undergraduate days at USC is now fearing that the media circus his upcoming parole hearing will attract may backfire on him, according to a new report.
Jeffrey Felix, a former prison guard at the facility where O.J. Simpson is imprisoned who wrote a book about guarding the former NFL star in prison, has told Page Six that his sources in the prison portray Simpson as worried that there will be fallout from the media presence.
Simpson’s parole hearing has been scheduled for July 20. Simpson, 70, has served more than eight years of a nine-to-33 year sentence after he was found guilty in 2008 of armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges.
“The Juice is sweating it over the parole hearing,” Felix said.
“He’s been told there will be media tents outside, pool reporters in his room and the Carson City hearing room, and cameras sending a live feed to the media outside. He is asking why they are fostering a circus-like environment for his hearing.”
Felix said that Simpson thinks the media coverage could impact the members of the parole board.
“O.J. thinks he deserves his parole — he’s been clean for nine years, hasn’t had any write-ups, took all the programs and classes they told him to take — but he thinks all this media hype is going to screw with the parole board and put pressure on them to keep him locked up,” he said.
“The media still portrays him in a negative light because he was acquitted of the murders (of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman),” he said.
The parole hearing is conducted by video. The commissioners will be in Carson City, Nev., while Simpson will be in Lovelock Correctional Center. Although there was minimal media coverage of his 2013 parole hearing, this time there is a vast media presence expected at both locations.
“We must make the hearing public. The only way we could safely do this is to have it streamed live,” said Brooke Keast, a spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Corrections. “We have two media sources in the room handling a pool shoot that day. Our local affiliate of ABC and our local reporter from AP.”
The prosecutor who put Simpson in prison expects that Simpson will be granted parole and be able to leave prison Oct. 1
Retired Clark County District Attorney David Roger said Simpson has been behind bars long enough.
“The guy did a lot of time on a robbery charge, I expect he’ll probably be paroled,” Roger said.
“Assuming he didn’t do anything bad on the inside, I think nine years is a pretty good stay for his charges,” Roger said. “Obviously he’d be on parole and would have to toe the line with parole officers. But I don’t know if granting him parole would be out of line here.”
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