Disgraced football legend O.J. Simpson is looking for another payday, claiming he was racially discriminated against. To make things right, he insists, he needs $100 million.
More than 20 years after Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife and another man, and just a few months after his parole from a Nevada prison for armed robbery, Simpson had a reported run-in at a Vegas casino that is now the basis of a potential lawsuit.
It was initially reported by TMZ that Simpson had become drunk and belligerent at The Cosmopolitan Casino in Vegas on November 8. Security then removed him, and he was permanently banned from the premises.
Simpson’s attorney disputes that report, and claims he was quietly having dinner with a friend when security approached him on his way out. He claims that the casino “singled (him) out amongst his non-African American friends and subsequently expelled him.” Security reportedly told him he was permanently banned from returning.
Simpson is demanding $100 million in damages over what he claims was “malice and racial prejudice.” Neither he nor the Cosmopolitan Casino mention that the removal and ban might be tied to the casino’s desire not to have a likely double-murderer on the property.
During his 1995 murder trial, Simpson also claimed racial discrimination was behind the charges.
Malcolm LaVergne told USA TODAY Sports that he will press forward with litigation if the casino doesn’t make public that Simpson did nothing untoward when he was asked to leave the casino.
“Mr. Simpson has had 100% perfect behavior since he’s been on parole,” LaVergne said. “He was having dinner with a friend from out of town and everything was going great. The next thing you know, when he was leaving, they told him, ‘Don’t come back.’”
Representatives from The Cosmopolitan have declined to provide specifics on what — if anything — took place, and a spokesperson described initial reports by other outlets as “inaccurate” when contacted in November. Reached Friday night, The Cosmopolitan said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports that it was company policy “to not comment on potential litigation.”
At least part of TMZ’s original report was erroneous. The first version of the story — which claimed Simpson had become “drunk” and “disruptive” — also alleged that a dispatcher referred to Simpson by name. A spokesperson for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told USA TODAY Sports that the department was not contacted about Simpson and a search of radio traffic from that Nov. 8 night included no mention of Simpson.
LaVergne said in the letter obtained by USA TODAY Sports that Simpson received a trespass notice from The Cosmopolitan.
“The Cosmopolitan Casino discriminately singled out Mr. Simpson amongst his non-African American friends and subsequently expelled him for what turned out to be a fake reason while he peacefully visited the Cosmopolitan property,” LaVergne wrote.
LaVergne said while The Cosmopolitan is within its rights to ban an individual, he added that the casino has fostered the perception that the Pro Football Hall of Fame running back and Heisman Trophy winner was intoxicated and unruly.
“We are asking, in newspaper terms, for a retraction,” LaVergne said.
Simpson, who was acquitted of double-murder charges in 1995, was paroled from a Nevada prison in October after he served nine years in prison for armed robbery and assault with a weapon conviction, a crime that took place at another Las Vegas hotel in an attempt to regain possession of memorabilia.
After he was acquitted of double murder, O.J. Simpson has been banned from several restaurants and businesses over what owners claim was a miscarriage of justice in the case.