Saturday, September 30, 2017

O.J. wants huge payday for first interview: ‘It has to be the big one’

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By Stacy Brown

September 30, 2017 | 12:49pm

Once The Juice is loose, he’ll put the squeeze on TV networks for millions for rights to an exclusive interview, sources close to O.J. Simpson told The Post.

“He’s not talking for free,” a longtime confidant told The Post a few days before Simpson’s expected Monday release from High Desert State Prison near Las Vegas. “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 disgraced gridiron great is expected to ask for $3 million to $5 million to sit down with the likes of NBC’s Matt Lauer, Megyn Kelly or Lester Holt; ABC’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan; or CBS’ newest “60 Minutes” correspondent Oprah Winfrey, the source said.

Simpson’s team has reached out to several outlets to gauge their interest. It’s not known if the interest is mutual.

Messages seeking comment from CBS, ABC, and NBC were not returned.

While the major networks maintain that they don’t pay for interviews, it’s an open industry secret that popular shows like Good Morning America, Today and others pay big bucks 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.

    ‘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.’

Simpson’s parole-hearing lawyer, Malcolm Lavergne, would not confirm nor deny that interview negotiations have or will take place.

While a TV interview could reap a windfall, Simpson isn’t entirely banking on it. A backup plan hatched by his associates includes pitching a reality television show and, in preparation for that, a Simpson source said at least one member of his team will be toting a camera when he walks out of prison.

“O.J. 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.

“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 O.J. for better or worse,” he said.

“He’s been away for nine years, but he still knows how to do business.”

If Simpson makes any money, it would be subject to seizure because of the still-unpaid $33.5 million he still owes the family of Ronald Goldman, who along with Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown, was savagely stabbed to death in 1994.

After Simpson’s stunning acquittal for murder in the “Trial of the Century,” a civil jury in 1997 him liable for the killings and leveled the massive judgment against him, a burden he’s managed to dodge despite a reported $25,000 monthly NFL pension and a nearly $5 million Screen Actor’s Guild pension.

Simpson, 70, is also eligible for Social Security, but that and pension income are protected from judgments and creditors.

Simpson, convicted of robbery in 2008, was granted parole in July after nine years at Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada. He was transferred this weekend to High Desert in preparation for his release.

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