||| Hollywood Reporter |||
O.J. Simpson is now a free man.
Simpson left the Lovelock Correctional Institute at 12:08 a.m. local time, ahead of his expected release on parole. A Nevada prison official confirmed that he was released around midnight local time.
The 70-year-old former NFL star spent nine years in prison for a Las Vegas robbery. He was granted parole in July. The earliest date he would have been eligible for release was October 1.
Simpson was arrested in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas as he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He would later argue that the said sports memorabilia they tried to stole belonged to him. He reiterated the same alibi during his parole hearing in July. The former Buffalo Bills star said: “All I want is my property… I wasn’t there to steal from anybody.”
Simpson also expressed confidence that he would meet the conditions of his parole before it was granted. He said: “I’m not a guy who lived a criminal life.”
The sports star will go back to Florida to be with his family. His lawyer said Simpson is looking forward to eating seafood and steak, as well as spending time with friends and playing golf.
Prior to the robbery case, Simpson also previously went on trial over 20 years ago. In 1994, he went on trial for the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The nation was mesmerized by the televised trial that saw Simpson acquitted of all charges.
Simpson was found liable for the killings in a 1997 civil trial, but he has always maintained his innocence.
Ron Goldman’s father and sister, Fred and Kim Goldman, released a statement last week and said that they will pursue with the judgment awarded to them in the civil trial- an amount that, to their estimates, has already climbed to $60 million.