O.J. Simpson was banned from a Las Vegas hotel bar Wednesday, but it remains unclear if he was behaving in an unruly manner, as reported. If Simpson were drunk at the time, that could violate the terms of his parole following his release from a Nevada prison last month.
According to KABC, the Cosmopolitan Hotel has confirmed that it banned Simpson. “Cosmopolitan exercised its right to issue a trespass notice. Any private property in Nevada has the right to tell any person that you are trespassing and please don’t come back; if you come back you are subject to a misdemeanor arrest,” the hotel’s attorney told the station.
The hotel did not say why it issued the trespass notice to the 70-year-old Simpson, who had indicated that he wanted to live in Las Vegas after leaving prison. TMZ reported Thursday that the former NFL star, who was acquitted of murdering his wife and a friend of hers in 1995, became drunk and abusive toward staff at the hotel’s Clique bar in an incident that took place around midnight.
“We’re told Simpson was angry at hotel staff and glasses broke at the bar,” TMZ reported, adding, “Security showed up and removed Simpson from the hotel. We’re told Simpson was nice to responding security guards.”
Us magazine quoted a source who gave a similar account, saying, “It wasn’t the biggest scuffle, but he did cause a scene and it was clear to everyone around him that he was very intoxicated.”
However, KABC cited a witness who told the station that while others in Simpson’s party drank wine, he abstained. The witness claimed that Simpson stayed at his table, then left around midnight.
A person at the Cosmopolitan on Wednesday evening took a photo of Simpson walking through the hotel. He had been imprisoned for almost nine years after being convicted of 12 charges, including kidnapping and armed robbery, stemming from a 2007 attempt to take sports memorabilia from two collectors at another Las Vegas hotel-casino.
Simpson’s lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne, told KTNV that there’s no truth to reports that Simpson was drunk. LaVergne said that his client usually orders one drink and sips from it while socializing, and that Simpson was at Clique to eat chicken wings.
LaVergne added that the hotel’s decision to ban Simpson was apparently made before his client arrived Wednesday, and once notified, Simpson left quietly. TMZ reported that Simpson has been “frequenting bars at the hotel since his release from prison.”
“Like most things I deal with related to Simpson, 99 percent of this is bulls—,” LaVergne told the New York Daily News.
Simpson, who is on parole until Sept. 29, 2022, is allowed to consume alcoholic beverages “but not to excess.” He is subject to alcohol and drug tests whenever they are demanded by Nevada’s parole and probation division, and would be considered in compliance if his blood-alcohol levels are below .08 percent.
If his parole officer determines that Simpson was, in fact, drunk Wednesday night, let alone causing a disturbance, he could be sent back to prison. However, the facts of what actually occurred at Clique appear to be very much in dispute at the moment. KTNV reported that Simpson is “taking steps to make sure that his probation officer is clear about what happened.”
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