The Oakland Press

Independen­ce man makes O.J. Simpson documentar­y

- By MONICA DRAKE Of The Oakland Press Contact Monica Drake at 248-745-4687 or email her at monica.drake@oakpress. com. Find her on Twitter at monica_adele.

After O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman almost 20 years ago, Independen­ce Township resident Norman Pardo took on a job that many deemed impossible.

Pardo became Simpson’s promoter and manager — a job he held from 1999 until 2008, when Simpson was sent to prison for 33 years for an armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room. He calls the job his “most challengin­g adventure.” Pardo said Simpson still calls him from prison about every other week.

With nothing Pardo can do for Simpson as he sits behind bars, Pardo figured what better time to share the candid video footage he saved of Simpson while they worked together?

So, after moving from South Florida to Michigan to be near his wife Jill’s family, Pardo built a studio in his new home and edited 80 hours of footage into a 93-minute, R-rated documentar­y titled “The Unpromotab­le.”

He just finished the editing process this summer.

All local talent was hired to edit and produce the documentar­y. Metro Detroit residents Mike Clark, Chris Kelly, Andrew Dubats, Sean Redenz and Ken Bowery helped with the editing. Robert Young Jr., son of the Michigan chief justice, is featured in the documentar­y, speaking about the case.

Pardo, who said he doesn’t believe Simpson is guilty of murder, said, “He’s convicted now, and he’s in prison. So why not put the movie out now?

“Now people will see what O.J. is like to be around. And they’ll probably question if he didn’t do it, look what we did to that man.

“I would not have promoted O.J. Simpson if I thought he went out and killed a bunch of people. I was able to promote O.J. Simpson because I found there were two sides of the story.”

Pardo’s job was to set up speaking engagement­s for Simpson — mostly as the host for hip-hop events. He said he saw, despite the murder accusation­s, how popular Simpson still was among fans.

Everywhere they went, Pardo would ask the cameraman to just keep the camera rolling.

“I was just going to play it back and goof around with him about all the stupid things he had done,” Pardo said.

Now Pardo is self-distributi­ng this footage of Simpson’s candid moments through his company, TMI Pictures — hoping to make it to the silver screen. And he is using crowd-funding to do it. He hopes to release the film in January.

Pardo needs about $50,000 in donations to distribute the movie. He took the movie to Hollywood last month, but he was told the movie would only be distribute­d if he edited the film.

“I refuse to censor my movie in America. I’m not going to do it,” he said. “I’m going to let the people decide. If they want it (distribute­d), let’s do it.”

The part of the film Pardo says he was asked to censor is his commentary about the Rampart scandal. In the late 1990s, more than 70 police officers assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department Rampart Division were accused of planting false evidence and framing gang members. In the film, Pardo accuses the Los Angeles Police Department of doing the same thing to Simpson.

The documentar­y also includes the transcript of recordings of Officer Mark Fuhrman, who found evidence at Simpson’s home after the killing. In the transcript­s, Fuhrman used a racial slur on several occasions while on duty with the Los Angeles Police Department.

“A lot of the police in that police department didn’t like black people or minorities. So they would do whatever it took to get rid of them,” Pardo said, adding he believes that if Simpson were white, he wouldn’t have been accused of the murder.

In “The Unpromotab­le,” Pardo also includes the entire police call between Nicole Brown and dispatch from 1993, when she called and said Simpson broke into her home and threatened her.

“They played that over and over, but what they failed to do was play the transcript­s of what O.J. Simpson said in those tapes,” said Pardo. “In the transcript­s, he’s screaming that he wants (Nicole’s) books regarding her drug dealers and prostitute­s hanging around with his children. That’s all he wanted. That’s all you can hear him saying.”

Only 10 minutes of the documentar­y is about the trial. Pardo describes the rest of the movie as “O.J. gone wild.” Pardo filmed Simpson in nightclubs, in strip clubs and on road trips.

“(We talked) about everything — his girlfriend­s, if he wants to get married or if he’s smoking pot that night. Everything O.J. had on his mind, I caught on tape,” Pardo said. “My movie will not make O.J. Simpson look great. He doesn’t want it out much more than the media wants it out. It shows him being a guy’s guy, a womanizer who did drugs.”

Pardo said he wants people to see the real Simpson, who he described as a funny man who liked to party. For example, in one scene, Pardo filmed Simpson calling OnStar Roadside Assistance and asking the woman who answered to go on a date with him.

“For the first time ever, the people will get to see what it was like to be with O.J. Simpson,” he said. “You will feel like you are there with him, talking. You will see him be a regular guy with no makeup and no suit and tie.”

 ?? The Oakland PRESS/DOUG BAUMAN ?? Norman Pardo of Independen­ce Township was O.J. Simpson’s manager and promoter. He is releasing a DVD about the time he spent with him.
The Oakland PRESS/DOUG BAUMAN Norman Pardo of Independen­ce Township was O.J. Simpson’s manager and promoter. He is releasing a DVD about the time he spent with him.
 ??  ?? With video online
With video online

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