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O.J.’s former manager: ‘Not everyone thinks he’s a pariah’

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Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier. Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool)

The Juice is on the loose. Or at least, he will be soon. 

Former NFL and movie star O.J. Simpson appeared before a Nevada parole board last Thursday and told four members of the board that he had been a model prisoner.

“I’ve done my time,” Simpson told the board. “I’ve done it as well and as respectfully as I think anyone can.”

Upon his planned release in October, Simpson will have served nine years of a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery.

Norman Pardo is O.J. Simpson’s former manager. Mr. Pardo checked in with The Maine Edge last Friday to talk about his reaction to Simpson’s pending release.

TME: Before we get into that, could give us a little background? When did you become O.J.’s manager and how long were you in that position?

Pardo: I started working with O.J. in 1999 and stayed there until he went into prison. My position was to get him back out there and get him things to do.

TME: Did you visit him in prison?

Pardo: No, I didn’t. He called a few times and I was in Vegas during his appeal hearings. I was behind him and we talked there too.

TME: Were you confident that O.J. would be paroled this year?

Pardo: I was pretty confident, but we’re talking about O.J. Simpson, so you don’t know. If it had been anyone else, I’d be real confident. He did get 33 years for going into his own room and taking his own stuff.

TME: Allegedly at gunpoint.

Pardo: That’s what they said, even though O.J. didn’t know there were any guns there. Even the people who had the guns didn’t know there were guns there until the prosecutor told them.

TME: O.J.’s public image is pretty dismal. Generally, he’s looked upon as a pariah. Tell us about the O.J. that you knew. What kind of person is he really?

Pardo: To start with, not everyone thinks he’s a pariah. I was with him a lot and never saw people treat him like a pariah. During those years when I managed him, we were in over 30 cities together. Only once did someone yell “Murderer.” Everyone else treated him like a king. He never had to buy a drink. Everywhere he went, he was taken care of. The pariah part depends on where you’re located. In California, he’s a pariah. On the east coast, he’s very well-liked.

TME: In the past, you’ve talked about some of O.J.’s issues. Here’s a quote from you: “He’ll do things that are just whacked out. He’ll sit in the corner and talk to himself, he’ll answer himself.”

Is that a guy whose conscience is eating him alive? Or do you think it’s related to brain injuries connected to his years in the NFL or something else?

Pardo: I said that at the time because he was going through some issues. He’s not a man who feels guilty about anything. He’ll say “If anyone should be angry, it’s me. Look what they did to me. I didn’t do that. I was found not guilty for doing that.”

TME: Once he’s released in October, what do you see O.J. doing?

Pardo: I see him basically having a quiet life and spending time with his kids. He’s 70 years old. That’s where he needs to be right now. If I were advising him, I’d tell him to take it easy.

TME: You’ve been quoted as saying that you know who killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994, but you say that when you notified authorities, they confiscated your evidence. If O.J. didn’t do it, who did?

Pardo: I can’t really say who did it right now because everyone’s looking for defamation suits. I can’t say it right now but I’m going to. I’m positioning myself to be able to say what’s on my mind without people attacking me.

TME: If you can’t tell us who did it, could you tell us why they did it?

Pardo: The guy who did it was a convicted serial killer and he did it because someone else wanted him to. It was related to issues from O.J.’s past and Nicole’s past. It will all come out in time. 

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