As O.J. Simpson Remains Hopeful of Prison Release, Sister Sheds Light on His Life Behind Bars
The former NFL star could be released from prison later this year.
After nearly nine years locked away in a Nevada prison, O.J. Simpson will go up for parole next month as he turns 70.
The fallen football star is “hopeful” he will be released soon, according to a close friend.
"He's hopeful. He's not going to try and retry the case," Simpson’s friend, Tom Scotto, told ABC News. "He's done all positive things in prison for the prison and bringing everybody together."
The Nevada Department of Corrections announced Tuesday that his parole hearing will take place on July 20.
If anyone knows what Simpson’s life behind bars is like, it's his sister, Shirley Baker.
She talks to her brother every week by phone and visits him four times a year at the Lovelock Correctional Facility.
Earlier this year, she made the trip with Scotto.
“It was the first time in eight years I was able to put my arms around him," she told Inside Edition. “When he first comes out we can hug and embrace and we sit down at the table.”
The disgraced former NFL superstar, who is currently serving a 33-year sentence for burglary, assault, robbery and kidnapping, began serving his term in 2008.
The charges stemmed from a 2007 incident in which he was arrested for leading a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel and casino to steal his own sports memorabilia at gunpoint.
Simpson and his sister shared a meal — simple stuff straight out of a vending machine.
They had a meal together, which she said included cappuccino, coffee, popcorn and a BBQ beef sandwich.
For breakfast, she says he eats oatmeal or Honey Nut Cheerios. He eats lots of canned salmon and tuna because he is currently watching his weight.
She says the guards have a nickname for him, Nordberg — his character’s name in The Naked Gun film franchise.
Tabloids have recently reported that the former Heisman Trophy winner is now Muslim. His sister disputes those claims.
“They say he is Muslim, he's not Muslim. He is Baptist,” she said.
Baker added that he's holding down a job while incarcerated.
“He is in charge of the gym," she said. "He is the boss. He makes sure all of the equipment is clean.”
A former prison guard says “The Juice” is living a life of ease and privilege behind bars and even has a flat screen TV in his cell.
“He's the Juice," Jeffrey Felix said. "He's O.J. Simpson. He does his thing."
Felix added that over time, he became Simpson’s buddy at the prison.
Simpson's flat screen TV is made from clear plastic — designed in such a way that he cannot hide contraband inside. It has a 13-inch screen that costs $325 and most well-behaved inmates have one.
“He likes Keeping Up With the Kardashians." Felix said. "He likes to keep up with all the gossip with them."
Simpson couldn't watch last year's hit series, The People Vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, because the prison doesn't get the FX network.
Felix says that behind bars, the 68-year-old is treated like a celebrity.
“He's allowed to cut in front of lines," he said. "The other inmates don't care. He can go to the front of the line for chow, he can go in front of the line for canteen he goes to the front of the line for clinic for his pill call.”
His life of ease includes poker games, and umpiring softball games. He also coaches the prison softball team.
But he's counting the days until his parole hearing, and his potential release.
“They told me what was expected of me here and I gave them my word that I would try to be or would be the best prisoner they've ever had here and I think for the most part I’ve kept my word on that,” Simpson told the parole board in 2013. “I haven't had any incidents despite what they say in the tabloids, I haven't had one incident since I came here.”
His sister is also hopeful he will get parole.
“There's no reason why not,” Baker said. “He’s there, he’s doing his time. He abided by the rules and I just hope and pray that they will give him parole.”
Should the former running back's parole be denied, he will go in front of the board again in 2022 at age 75.
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