Names and faces
■ O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a 2007 robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room, successfully making his case for freedom in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America’s enduring fascination with the former football star. Simpson, 70, could be released as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nineto-33-year armed-robbery sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia and other mementos that he claimed had been stolen from him. All four parole commissioners who conducted the hearing voted for his release after about 30 minutes of deliberations. They also cited his community support and his release plans, which include moving to Florida. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Simpson said quietly as he buried his head on his chest with relief as he sat in a stark hearing room at Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Center. During the more-than hourlong hearing, Simpson insisted that he was only trying to recover items that belonged to him and never meant to hurt anyone during the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers. Simpson was widely expected to win parole, given similar cases and his good behavior behind bars. His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two killings he was acquitted of in Los Angeles in 1995: the 1994 stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.
■ Ryan Seacrest will be back hosting
American Idol when it returns for its first season on ABC. Kelly Ripa made the announcement on Thursday’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which she has co-hosted with Seacrest since he joined her in May. “I am happy to confirm … that Ryan Seacrest is returning as the host of
American Idol, said Ripa as the studio audience whooped. The 42-year-old Seacrest said he was excited to be doing it again. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a 15-year relationship and then, for a reason that you really don’t know, you break up,” he said. “I thought, ‘Gosh, it would be great to get back together at some point.’” Seacrest had a grand history with
Idol during its smash-hit run on Fox from 2002 through 2016. His potential return to Idol had sparked much speculation since ABC announced in May that it would revive the talent competition. The program airs from Los Angeles and Live airs weekday mornings from New York. Seacrest is no stranger to a packed work schedule and cross-country flights. “You can have all the tickets you want,” he told Ripa, “and you can come back and forth with me any weekend.”