Simpson Auctioneer Sues Dr. Phil
An auctioneer caught up in the O.J. SIMPSON hotel heist is suing U.S. TV personality DR. PHIL for defamation and fraud after appearing on his show earlier this month (Oct08).
Simpson was found guilty on all 12 counts in his kidnapping and armed robbery trial on 3 October, stemming from a heist he took part in at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last year (Sep07).
Thomas Riccio, who arranged the meeting between Simpson and sports memorabilia collector Bruce Fromong on that fateful night, agreed to be interviewed by Philip 'Dr. Phil' MCGraw for the programme about the incident.
The interview was recorded on 6 October (08) and aired on U.S. TV two days later - but Riccio is furious with the results, claiming footage was edited to alter the meaning of his words.
Riccio, who testified against Simpson in the trial, is particularly incensed at being referred to as "the shady deal maker", "a puppet master who would sell his soul for a coin", and "the ring leader of this crime".
He is also accusing MCGraw of falsely claiming that he "set O.J. Simpson up and told people to bring guns into the room", insisting his denials were cut from the final interview and instead replaced with footage of him nodding, appearing to agree with the host.
Riccio is also seeking compensation from MCGraw and production company Stage 29 Media for the emotional distress of being portrayed in a false light. His lawsuit further states: "Had plaintiff been aware of defendants' intent and their intended actions, he would not have agreed to do the interview."
Simpson, 61, and his co-defendant Clarence Stewart, are currently being held in a Las Vegas jail where they face life imprisonment when they are sentenced on 5 December (08).