OJ Simp­son sues Las Ve­gas casino, con­tends he was de­famed

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Ken Rit­ter

LAS VE­GAS (AP) >> O.J. Simp­son is su­ing a Las Ve­gas ho­tel-casino that banned him in Novem­ber 2017, al­leg­ing that un­named em­ploy­ees de­famed him by telling a celebrity news site he had been drunk, dis­rup­tive and un­ruly.

Simp­son, on pa­role in Ne­vada for a 2008 con­vic­tion for armed rob­bery and as­sault with a weapon, filed the law­suit Thurs­day against Ne­vada Prop­erty 1 LLC, cor­po­rate owner of the Cos­mopoli­tan of Las Ve­gas.

The com­plaint ac­knowl­edges that Simp­son, af­ter sev­eral hours with two friends at a steak­house and a lounge in Novem­ber 2017, re­ceived a no­tice from a se­cu­rity guard as they left. It pro­hib­ited him from re­turn­ing to the Las Ve­gas Strip prop­erty. He says he was never given a rea­son.

Cos­mopoli­tan spokes­woman Rachel Henry de­clined com­ment

Simp­son de­nied in the law­suit that he was “bel­liger­ent,” broke glass or dam­aged prop­erty.

Simp­son at­tor­ney Malcolm LaVergne said his client’s rep­u­ta­tion was dam­aged by “ho­tel staff” ac­counts cited in a TMZ re­port that Simp­son “was drunk and be­came dis­rup­tive” at the re­sort’s Clique bar.

TMZ is not a de­fen­dant in the law­suit.

Simp­son had been re­leased on pa­role less than six weeks be­fore the in­ci­dent, and LaVergne said Fri­day his client was stung by crit­i­cism he re­ceived on so­cial me­dia. The at­tor­ney said Simp­son did not have a Twit­ter ac­count in 2017.

“Now we’ve got Twit­ter. We’ve got a law­suit. We’ll see how things play out,” LaVergne said.

Simp­son opened a Twit­ter ac­count last June with an ini­tial video post say­ing, “I got a lit­tle get­tin’ even to do.” Most posts since have been about foot­ball.

The defama­tion com­plaint said a pa­role of­fi­cer ar­rived unan­nounced at Simp­son’s Las Ve­gas home fol­low­ing news re­ports of the Cos­mopoli­tan in­ci­dent and ad­min­is­tered drug and al­co­hol tests.

Pa­role of­fi­cials found that Simp­son had not vi­o­lated pro­ba­tion “and ul­ti­mately de­ter­mined that the Cos­mopoli­tan’s as­ser­tions against Simp­son were false,” the com­plaint said.

Ne­vada De­part­ment of Pub­lic Safety spokes­woman Kim Yoko Smith de­clined to com­ment about the pa­role find­ing. She said state law pro­hibits dis­clo­sure of in­for­ma­tion about su­per­vi­sion of a parolee.

Simp­son has been liv­ing in a gated golf course com­mu­nity af­ter be­ing freed from pri­son. He was con­victed in Oc­to­ber 2008 of lead­ing five men, in­clud­ing two with guns, in an ill-fated bid to re­trieve per­sonal items and mem­o­ra­bilia from two col­lectibles deal­ers and a go-be­tween at a Las Ve­gas casino-ho­tel.

Simp­son claims in the com­plaint he is a “model” parolee and points to “an ex­tremely warm and pos­i­tive re­cep­tion by many” who pose with him for pho­tos.

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