Simpson Auctioneer Cashed In On 2007 'Hotel Heist'
An auctioneer caught up in OJ SIMPSON's alleged hotel heist has confessed to making $210,000 (GBP113,513) from the sale of audio recordings, photos and interviews relating to the September 2007 incident.
Collectibles dealer Thomas Riccio, who arranged the meeting between Simpson and sports memorabilia collector Bruce Fromong, the trial's chief witness, made the cash revelation to the Clark County Court jury in Nevada on Monday (22Sep08), where the former sports star is on trial for kidnapping and armed robbery.
Riccio scored lucrative deals with a variety of media organisations, including celebrity website TMZ.com, news show Entertainment Tonight, broadcaster ABC, and radio shock jock Howard Stern, reports the New York Daily News.
The bosses of TMZ.com paid $150,000 (GBP81,000) for dramatic audio recording of Simpson's six-minute confrontation with Fromong and business associate Alfred Beardsley at the Palace Station Hotel, while ABC executives paid $15,000 (GBP8,100) for an unnamed photo.
Riccio freely admitted to cashing in on Simpson's name, and when Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, accused him of "making as much money off this event" as possible, he responded: "Sure, absolutely."
Simpson, 61, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He maintains he and five associates entered Fromong's Las Vegas hotel room to recover stolen goods that belonged to the former sports star. The trial continues.