Twenty-five years after OJ Simpson was arrested in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend, the NFL great is living in Las Vegas with a pair of new knees and working on his golf game. Life, he says, “is fine”.
Simpson, who lives in Las Vegas, is in good health and high spirits, according to an exclusive interview published by the Associated Press on Monday.
The notorious sports star said neither he nor his children wanted to talk about the murder on 12 June 1994 of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman – or the so-called “trial of the century” that ensued. Found not guilty in 1995, Simpson continues to maintain his innocence.
“We don’t need to go back and relive the worst day of our lives,” Simpson told the AP. “The subject of the moment is the subject I will never revisit again. My family and I have moved on to what we call the ‘no negative zone’. We focus on the positives.”
Simpson has largely lived a quiet life following his release from prison in October 2017, after he had served nine years for kidnapping and robbery. He told the AP he thinks his conviction for attempting to steal back memorabilia items was not fair, but said: “I believe in the legal system and I honored it. I served my time.”
Simpson’s two younger children live in Florida, working in real estate. He said his friends convinced him to stay in Las Vegas after his time in jail.
“The town has been good to me,” Simpson said. “Everybody I meet seems to be apologizing for what happened to me here.”
Simpson did run into trouble shortly after his release, being banned from the Cosmopolitan resort following a dispute. But otherwise life has gone smoothly, he said. He is popular among selfie-seeking tourists and plays golf almost every day with a club of other “retired guys”.
The former University of Southern California and Buffalo Bills running back, now nearly 72, told the AP he has had knee replacement surgery and a procedure to improve his vision.
He said his parole officer permits him to take short trips to Florida for family visits. His older daughter mostly lives with him in Las Vegas, but frequently travels to Los Angeles.
“I’ve been to Florida two or three times to see the kids and my old buddies in Miami,” he said. “I even managed to play a game of golf with them. But I live in a town I’ve learned to love. Life is fine.”
Such extensive family time has also reportedly included a wedding which brought his brother, sister, nieces and nephews to Vegas – as well as his first wife, Marguerite.
After Simpson left the NFL, he worked as a sports commentator and “commercial pitchman”. He also worked as an actor, in movies such as The Naked Gun.
Though Simpson was acquitted in the deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman, their families sued him in civil court on grounds of wrongful death, winning a $33.5m judgement. Most of that sum has not been paid.
Simpson would not discuss money with the AP, other than to say he supports himself with pensions.