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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Simpson Out on Bail; Simpson's Alleged Victim Arrested
Aired September 19, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TED ROWLANDS, HOST: Tonight, O.J. Simpson out of jail on bail after facing a Las Vegas judge in handcuffs and a jumpsuit, charged with 10 felonies that could mean life in prison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE JOE BONAVENTURE: Mr. Simpson, do you understand the charges against you?
O.J. SIMPSON: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: At the same time, one of Simpson's alleged victims is arrested today, while the other is intensive care recovering from a heart attack.
We're live in Las Vegas with reporters who were inside today's dramatic hearing.
Plus, the man who broke that sensational audio of Simpson's alleged crime.
How did he get it?
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
And good evening, everybody.
I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry King tonight.
We have a busy day -- it was a very busy day in Las Vegas today. O.J. Simpson is out on bail. In the first segment, let's first check in with what happened today.
We're joined by Dan Simon, CNN correspondent. He was in court today and covering the proceedings all weekend and through today.
Thomas Roberts also with us, a correspondent with "The Insider." He was in court, as well.
Dan, let's start with you.
Where is O.J. Right now?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the air. He's on a flight right now headed to his home state of Florida, headed to Fort Lauderdale. Obviously, he'll be arriving sometime later tonight. As you mentioned, he was released from custody on bail. He went to his hotel, apparently to collect his things and then headed straight to the airport -- Ted.
ROWLANDS: Thomas, he made bail today, set at $125,000.
What was the situation -- what was procedure there?
They didn't let him right out the front door of the courtroom.
How long did it take and what was it -- what was the scene like?
THOMAS ROBERTS, "INSIDER" CORRESPONDENT, IN COURT TODAY AT O.J. SIMPSON HEARING: Yes, Ted, it took several hours for all of that paperwork to go through and that process. This morning, though, it was very efficient when they went through the arraignment hearing itself. It was supposed to start at 8:00 a.m. . A little of a delay. It got started about 8:20. And then, after that, it was really only 10 or 15 minutes long and the bail was set. Both parties agreed. And then O.J. Was going to be set free after that paperwork.
As I said, it took several hours, but then he was gone.
ROWLANDS: O.J. Simpson did make his first court appearance earlier today. They read the charges against him and then they decided on bail.
Let's take a listen at some of what happened today in court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BONAVENTURE: This charges you with the crimes of conspiracy to commit a crime, a gross misdemeanor offense; conspiracy to commit kidnapping, a felony offense; conspiracy to commit robbery, a felony offense; burglary or in possession of deadly weapon, a felony offense; two counts of first degree kidnapping with the use of a deadly weapon, both felony offenses; two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, both felony offenses; two counts of assault with the use of a deadly weapon, both felony offenses; and coercion with use of a deadly weapon, a felony offense.
Mr. Simpson, do you understand the charges against you?
SIMPSON: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: Dan Simon, what struck you the most about being in the courtroom today and seeing O.J. Simpson in the jumpsuit and in handcuffs and listening to the judge read those very serious charges against him?
SIMON: Well, I have to tell you, I was a bit surprised to actually see him in the jumpsuit. Normally when you have high profile defendants, sometimes -- well sometimes the judge will let the defendant change into a suit. Attorneys will often make the argument that it's prejudicial to a potential jury pool. So I was a bit surprised to see Simpson wearing the jumpsuit, seeing him in handcuffs. He seemed subdued for most of the time. At one point, though, when the judge laid out the charges, specifically the kidnapping charge, he seemed a bit taken aback. He sort of furrowed his brow a bit. He seemed a bit surprised by that.
All in all, though, a very brief hearing. But, of course, anytime you have a high profile defendant such as O.J. Simpson, obviously, it's quite dramatic in the courtroom -- Ted.
ROWLANDS: I was in the very back of the courtroom. I didn't see a whole lot.
Thomas Roberts, you had a good seat and you were sitting next to, of all people, Marcia Clark, the prosecutor in the criminal trial. And I've got to say, seeing her walk into the courtroom today was unbelievable. You had O.J. And Marcia.
Fill us in.
What was the situation with that?
ROBERTS: Well, no offense to my former CNN colleagues because you know I love all of you very much, but I couldn't have had a better colleague other than Marcia Clark, than to walk in there today with. She's reporting for "Entertainment Tonight". She's fantastic. She's worked with us for years in the legal capacities on high profile cases.
And when O.J. Simpson goes back to court, who better than her to come?
She has a great legal background, a great legal mind. And it was interesting to see her and sit next to her to gauge her feelings about all of this. Of course, this is professional for her, as she's a reporter. But there is also some personal feelings that go along with this. I know that she was relieved to be sitting behind the prosecution table in the pews that we were all in, as opposed to being at the prosecution table itself.
ROWLANDS: Was this the first time that she had seen O.J. Simpson since he was acquitted on the double murder case, in the double murder case?
ROBERTS: This is, yes. Ted, this is the first time in 12 years that they've ever been back face-to-face in the same area, 12 feet away this time around. But yes, 12 years later, this is the first time that they've ever been back in the same place. And I know probably for O.J. For him to realize that Marcia Clark was there, as well as the other crush of media that was in that courtroom today, was probably pretty overwhelming.
ROWLANDS: Dan Simon, the judge in this case, Judge Joe Bonaventure. And we expected to see a different judge, a Judge Zimmerman.
What happened there and what do you think of this judge?
SIMON: Well, we are told that this was purely a procedural matter. This wasn't a case of the attorneys looking for a specific judge, simply a routine matter. I thought the judge was very professional, very matter of fact; obviously, had the spotlight on him today and he didn't appear to flinch whatsoever. I thought -- I thought he was a good judge -- Ted.
ROWLANDS: One of the things Yale Galanter, O.J. Simpson's attorney, emphasized in court and then again outside, that he was O.J. Simpson's attorney. He really went on and on about it. Fill us in.
What is that all about?
SIMON: Well, this was a situation where you had a local Las Vegas attorney claiming to be O.J. Simpson's lawyer. As a matter of fact, he filed a brief purporting to be O.J. Simpson's attorney. And this was simply a case of these two attorneys today wanting to make it clear for the record that they are the attorneys of the record, that it wasn't this other guy.
This other guy also appeared on some national television shows. So it seemed -- so it seemed like he may have actually had different counsel. But Yale Galanter obviously setting the record straight -- Ted.
ROWLANDS: All right, Dan Simon is going to leave us.
Quickly, Dan, when is O.J. Back in court?
SIMON: He's due back October 2nd, purely a procedural move. This will be a status conference. But, obviously, given the nature of these serious allegations, you can bet he'll be making a lot of trips here to Las Vegas -- Ted.
ROWLANDS: All right, Dan Simon, CNN correspondent.
Thomas Roberts is going to join us for the rest of the show.
Coming up, we'll talk more about what happened today in court and what we can expect.
O.J. Simpson out on bail, on his way back to Miami tonight.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YALE GALANTER, SIMPSON DEFENSE LAWYER: I think that the bail is extremely reasonable. You know, look at all these -- just turn around. I mean there isn't a place on the planet that Mr. Simpson could go when somebody wouldn't recognize him or know who he was. The truth of the matter is, is that despite his past and public opinion about his past, he is not a flight risk and he is not a danger to the community. So that bond is more than reasonable. It's exactly where it should be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: And welcome back, everybody, to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry tonight from Las Vegas, where today O.J. Simpson was in court. And tonight, he has left. He's on his way to Miami after making bail set at $125,000.
Still with us is Thomas Roberts, a correspondent for "The Insider." He was in court through the proceedings.
Leo Terrell is also with us, a civil rights attorney and radio talk show. He's in Los Angeles, and he's a good friend of O.J. Simpson's.
Stacey Honowitz, Florida assistant state attorney general, is joining us from Miami tonight
And in Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, famous defense attorney.
In Los Angeles, as well, along with Harvey Levin, the managing editor of TMZ.com, host and executive producer, the guy that got that audio tape and has gotten pretty much everything else in this case.
We'll find out more about how he got all that.
So first off, Leo, what did you think about today's happenings in court?
You know, I know you've been very outspoken in support of Mr. Simpson.
What do you think about today?
Bail set at $125,000 seems pretty fair.
LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY, FRIEND OF O.J. SIMPSON: Let me tell you right now, very clearly, the prosecution case is falling apart. Ten felony charges, only $125,000. And I've been in contact with the Simpson family every day this week. And they have said from day one, this case is a setup against O.J. And the evidence, and what people do not know, Ted, is that there are items on the list that have not been disclosed that are of a personal nature -- not jerseys, not footballs. I can't disclose it.
But what I'm telling you is that that property was O.J.'s. The Simpson family is very happy that the bail is $125,000. And that indicates that the charges are falling apart.
ROWLANDS: Stacey Honowitz, were you surprised that it was at $125,000, considering that he was being held on no bail for three days, and the charges -- they said the reason he was on no bail is because of the significance of these charges.
What are your thoughts?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Yes, I was kind of surprised at the bail. We discussed it on the show last night. And Mark and I both thought it was going to be considerably higher because of the nature of the charges and the fact that first judge thought he was a risk of flight.
This stipulation must have been entered into by Yale Galanter and the prosecution prior to walking into court this morning. It was a very quick hearing. He had discussed it with the prosecutors, probably at length. And for whatever reason -- I'm like a Monday morning quarterback -- whatever those prosecutors were doing, they felt that that was a reasonable bond for him.
ROWLANDS: Mark, do you think that the bail was at $125,000 because, let's face it, the other defendants in this case, who are accused of the same crimes, were either out with a signature or much lower bails?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I think the next lowest was $78,000. Stacey's right, the -- clearly $125,000 is less than I think -- if they had asked the judge to set the bail and the prosecutor had gotten up there and started stomping his feet, I think you would have seen $250,000, $500,000, maybe even what Stacey had said yesterday, seven figures, if a judge had set this. The fact -- and I -- that's a testament, I think, to the prosecutor. He's -- so far, they have not grandstanded this thing in terms of going out there and doing some of the things they could have done.
The fact that they stipulated to the bail at $125,000, I think, is a credit to the prosecution, and maybe, as Leo says, a recognition that, look, there are some real problems with this case. I mean you could not, if you're a defense lawyer, send to central casting and get a better collection of people to cross examine than these -- than these guys. I mean it really, as a defense lawyer, you're panting at the bit to get at one of these guys or all of these guys on the stand.
ROWLANDS: And one of those guys, Alfred Beardsley, was actually arrested today on an outstanding warrant out of the State of California.
Harvey, you've dealt with this individual.
What is he like?
HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM, BROKE AUDIO OF SIMPSON'S ALLEGED CRIME: Well, look, this is an odd cast of characters. Mark -- Mark kind of hit the nail on the head. This is, you know, they all have pasts. Some of them have criminal pasts. And, you know, this is not going to be this squeaky clean group of alleged victims by any means. I mean it's feeling like -- it's feeling like the Anna Nicole case on steroids, in some ways.
So I think, you know, Beardsley is a little bit of an odd duck. He is. And all of them are, including O.J. Simpson. So, you know, in terms of judging credibility, I think it's going to have to be volume for the prosecution because I don't think any one individual is going to make their case.
ROWLANDS: All right, let's take a look at the charges filed against O.J. Simpson and the others -- conspiracy to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, first degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, robbery with use of a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, coercion with the use of a deadly weapon.
All of these charges, O.J. Simpson said he was simply going to get his property, property he owned.
Stacey, do these charges jibe with what the reality is here or do you think that they are kind of squeezing a little bit?
HONOWITZ: Well, I mean you have to picture what everyone -- what the prosecutors are picturing in this case. It's, you know, the barging in of these thugs and doing these things that are alleged in the criminal complaint. Certainly, all these charges technically can be filed. And if the proof is there and all the elements are met, can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That's if, in fact, the credibility of these witnesses is there.
So all these charges that the prosecutor has charged him with are legitimate based on what the witnesses and the victims have said, "Whether or not they can prove them all in court, of course, is a different story. But at this probable cause level, at this level of filing, it is enough for the prosecutors to file all of these and levy all these charges.
ROWLANDS: Thomas Roberts, when O.J. Was hearing all of these charges, he seemed to react.
What did you see in court?
ROBERTS: Well, what I saw sitting at a side angle was the fact that he was pretty stoic. You could tell that his eyes were a little bit bleary. But he didn't seem too shaken as the charges were going off -- maybe a little bit shocked as we got toward the end of those 10 being read aloud. Maybe just because there were so many, and, also, mention of the misdemeanor.
But he seemed prepared and he stood there. And when the judge asked if he understood, he said yes.
But all in all, O.J. Was pretty controlled and calm in court today.
ROWLANDS: We have received a lot of e-mails about this. One is from Rick in Brooklyn, New York. It's pretty typical: "How is this a kidnapping? Who did O.J. Supposedly kidnap? I thought kidnapping is when you take someone from one place to another without that person's consent." Mark Geragos?
GERAGOS: Well, the theory is, is that when they say you can't leave, that that's the kidnapping. I don't think that there is a kidnapping here, even for a probable cause. I think it's more properly what's called if you believe that's what happened, it's a false imprisonment, where you've said I've got you here, because kidnapping generally requires some movement, that you've got to -- "asportation" is the legal term. But here you -- I don't believe that they've got it. False imprisonment would appear to be a more appropriate charge.
But understand why they've done this. One of the dirty little secrets of criminal law is that prosecutors will pile on charges. You know, they pile on these one specific reason -- they want to either raise the bail or raise the stakes of what a defendant faces. So when you give all of these charges, you file all these charges and somebody's facing, for virtually the end of their life sitting in prison if they're convicted, there is a lot more at stake if they decide to go to trial, so that then, some kind of a prospective plea bargain starts to look real good. Because, you know, if somebody offers you two years, three years in state prison and you're facing life, you start to say hey, I may not have done anything, but am I going to roll the dice and end up in state prison?
ROWLANDS: All right, a plea bargain. We'll talk about that and much more when we come back.
We're going to take a quick break.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GALANTER: The O.J. Simpson murder case invoked very, very strong feelings across America. And I think depending on who you talk to, everybody's got an opinion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, OCTOBER 3, 1995)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above entitled action, find the defendant Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe in the system. The system found him not guilty. From my point of view, that is the only thing that matters. In the eyes of the law, he was found not guilty.
ROWLANDS: And welcome back, everybody, to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry from Las Vegas.
On the phone with us right now is Bruce Fromong. He is one of the alleged victims in this case. Bruce had a heart attack after this incident last Thursday. He's on the phone from Los Angeles, from his hospital room.
Bruce, first off, how are you feeling?
BRUCE FROMONG, ALLEGED VICTIM RECOVERING FROM HEART ATTACK: Not bad. I am, like you say, the -- my death is not near as bad as what they said it was. I'm still alive and kicking.
ROWLANDS: Bruce is one of the two alleged victims in this case -- one of the memorabilia salesmen, if you will -- that were in that hotel room to make a deal. They did not expect to see O.J. Simpson. But then, lo and behold, it was O.J. Simpson and some friends coming to get those materials.
Bruce, again, we've talked about this before.
Was there a gun, yes or no?
There's a lot of speculation of whether there was. Set it -- set the record straight.
FROMONG: OK. Let's end the speculation right now. Yes, there was a gun. It was right in front of my face.
ROWLANDS: And is there any way, in your mind, that O.J. Simpson would have not seen the gun given the amount of people in the room and what was transpiring?
Is it possible that he wouldn't have known a gun was involved?
FROMONG: No. By the time he left that room, if he didn't know when he went into the room, he knew by the time he went out of the room -- by that time -- there was a gun involved. Mr. Simpson never brandished a weapon himself, I'll put that straight right now, as well. O.J. Never had a gun. It was a couple of his cronies there that were on each side of him that had it. And -- but O.J. Never held a gun in his hand at all.
ROWLANDS: Some of this stuff that -- was O.J. Simpson's personal materials, his items at one point, including neck ties that he wore during the criminal trial.
How did you get this stuff?
FROMONG: OK, the stuff that -- there were items in there that at one time had belonged to O.J. But by the time -- when I got the items -- they were never stolen from O.J. They were given to his old business associate. And -- through legal means, and later on came into my possession. You know, as everyone knows, I worked for O.J. As well, for many, many years before and after the first O.J. Trials. And I've done a lot of work with O.J. We've done a lot of signings together. And there -- everything that was in that room -- what O.J. Was looking for at the time when he came into that room wasn't what I had. There was a dealer -- there's a person, I'm told, up in San Jose that has a bunch of childhood photos, negatives, books, that had been in Eunice's storage facility. Someone quit paying the storage on it. It went through public auction and a person had bought it. And O.J. Had been told that all that stuff was going to be there. He was told that by Tom Riccio.
FROMONG: Riccio, yes. Well -- and he had been told...
ROWLANDS: Bruce, you were -- you mentioned you were friends with O.J. You worked with O.J. For many, many years. Al Beardsley, at one point, said this thing has been blown out of proportion and he kind of just wants it to all go away.
Is there a chance, given your previous relationship with Mr. Simpson, that you, too, are going to basically not cooperate with this prosecution or are you going to see this through?
FROMONG: Yes. I'm going to see this through, you know, strictly for the reason that, as I said before, nobody puts a gun in my face. Nobody threatens me. It was done inappropriately. If O.J. Had, you know -- when O.J. Had to come in there, if he had just said, "Oh, wow, it's you. Bruce, you and I need to talk. You know, we could have worked something out right then and there.
You know, I had bought these items. I wouldn't have even wanted money for them, you know?
I have always believed that much of this stuff should go back to O.J.'s family. You know, this is -- these are...
ROWLANDS: Would you...
FROMONG: These are heirlooms.
ROWLANDS: Would you...
FROMONG: You know, some of this stuff...
ROWLANDS: Did you think the charges are appropriate?
Do you think the charges are appropriate against O.J.?
And could you see him spending the rest of his life in jail because of what happened in that night?
FROMONG: I hope O.J. Gets help, you know?
I hope O.J. Gets help.
Does he, you know, what he did was wrong. Absolutely no doubt about it. But the person that's killing me that's getting away with it right now is this Tom character. He's the perpetrator. He set everybody and everything up. The travesty is that this guy is out there shooting off his mouth. He's the one that called O.J. He is the one that talked with Beardsley. You know, he's the one that took the tape recorders in there.
This guy is guiltier than anybody.
ROWLANDS: All right, Tom Riccio, we'll talk about...
FROMONG: This guy is dirty.
ROWLANDS: We'll talk about that.
Can you just stay with us for a little bit longer, Bruce?
We're going to take a quick break and we'll pick it up and talk about Tom Riccio and the rest of this.
Bruce Fromong joining us from his hospital bed in Los Angeles, one of the alleged victims in all of this.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
Stay with us.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM LARRY KING LIVE)
ALFRED BEARDSLEY: I didn't buy them. You know, there's a lot of controversy going on about who is the owner of these items right now. The best thing I could say is I'd rather let a judge decide who the rightful owner of these items is.
LARRY KING, HOST: But they -- they were in your possession in that hotel room?
BEARDSLEY: Yes, they were in mine and Bruce Fromong's possession in that room, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM LARRY KING LIVE)
TOM RICCIO: I called O.J. Simpson and told him that they had this stolen stuff. I had done a deal with O.J. A couple years ago. A whole another story with Al Beardsley. But I (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: And so you told him they were there?
RICCIO: I told him the stuff was stolen. I told him the stuff that was on Al's list. He said, "I've been looking for that stuff for 10 years. I want it back."
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROWLANDS: Welcome back, everybody, to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry tonight from Las Vegas where today O.J. Simpson made his first court appearance and made bail. He's on his way to Miami tonight after spending three days in the Clark County Detention Center here in Las Vegas.
On the phone with us is Bruce Fromong, one of the two alleged victims in this case which took place last Thursday. Bruce, we're talking about the situation -- you say you're going to go through with this, and you are not going to cave, if you will. A lot of people have speculated that these are all unsavory characters, you included, in the end, there's really no case here. Defend yourself. I know you're very sensitive to that.
BRUCE FROMONG, ALLEGED VICTIM: Yeah, I've been -- you know, I've been watching the TV here and listening to what people are saying about me. I've been called a snake. I've been called all this other stuff. You know, I'm a decorated veteran. I'm retired military. I did 20 years in the military. I did -- I worked for Department of Corrections. I mean, I've done a lot of good things in my lifetime.
And I stood behind a guy that I thought was my friend at the time. And, you know, if you take all the important names, the O.J. Simpsons, the Mike Gilberts, the Alfred Beardsleys, the Tom Riccios, all these guys and my name, which one of these guys has never been in jail before? Oh, that's right, me.
I mean, everybody's calling me unsavory, and they make this sound like this was some backdoor dealings or something. And this wasn't. We deal with many high-profile buyers that do not want to be out in the public eye. They don't want to, you know -- they don't do this stuff out in -- I don't want to say out in the open, but, you know, these are private people. They don't want everybody knowing their business. And that's all this was.
We met where a potential buyer was, and we were going to, you know, let a dealer take a look at what he wanted. There wasn't just O.J.'s stuff there. They took all the Joe Montana signed lithographs. They took the signed baseball by Pete Rose. Duke Schneider, you know, let's see, how was this supposed to be O.J. Simpson's stuff? Photographs that I had -- you know, with O.J. for years before. I mean, this stuff isn't O.J.'s. This stuff belongs to my company.
ROWLANDS: Did you call 911?
FROMONG: No. Actually, Al Beardsley called 911.
ROWLANDS: Did you know he was going to call 911?
FROMONG: Yeah, Beardsley ...
ROWLANDS: Did you know he was going to do that?
FROMONG: No, not at the time. He picked up the phone. The only person that started screaming don't call, don't call the police was Tom. He's sitting there, like mad, going don't call the police. Don't call the police. We don't want to involve the police. This is the guy that -- this is the guy that is guilty of everything, Tom. He is the guy in there that called O.J. He's the guy that called Beardsley. He's the one that set this up. You want to look at the perpetrator, take a look at the man that's out there shooting off his mouth making all the money off this stuff, and that's Tom Riccio.
ROWLANDS: Is that tape that Harvey Levin and tmz.com has released, is that accurate of what happened that night?
FROMONG: Oh, yeah, I'm sure -- you know, I haven't been able to hear all of them. I've missed a lot of it, because like I say, I've been having to sleep a lot. But it just -- it was not -- you know, it's very accurate from the parts I've seen. I mean, but he had those -- he had that stuff set up to record. He knew what was happening. He knew what was going down. Everybody in that room was set up.
The number one man, the conspiracy right there, is Tom. He's the guy -- I had never met this guy before in my life. But if anybody should be being charged, he should be standing right there beside Mr. Simpson.
ROWLANDS: One of the things -- one of the allegations here is that O.J. Simpson's been basically selling materials over the years under the radar to keep it away from the Goldmans in the civil judgment. What did you know about that, and did you ever help him with that at all?
FROMONG: Way back -- I don't know if you'd call it help him. I knew that there was something going on because everybody knows that O.J. has done some deals in the past where he's done signings and that type of thing. We did an article in "Esquire" magazine years ago where we were doing a signing. And they were present, and they were questioning him.
I mean, this is no -- this is no big secret. For two years I was under court order that any monies that came to me that belonged to O.J. had to be turned over. And during that time, I never had any monies that belonged to Mr. Simpson ever. But yeah, is O.J. still making some money out there? Yes, he is. And people are saying that the amount of stuff that was in that room was exaggerated. Well, those are people that are out of contact with this type of memorabilia, then.
Because O.J. Simpson memorabilia does sell. Take a look on eBay. You know, it's on there every week, every day, three, four, 500. Does it sell like a Michael Jordan? No, it doesn't. But does it sell like a lot of other people's? Yes, it does.
When we sold our last store up in Lake Tahoe, our number one and number two sellers were Joe Montana and O.J. Simpson. You'd have nine people come in ...
ROWLANDS: Bruce ...
ROWLANDS: Bruce, when I was in your home a few days ago, you said O.J. Simpson was like a family member to you. A lot of people would wonder, how could you associate with O.J. Simpson? Tell us about him and your relationship and what it's like to see him now in handcuffs and possibly looking at jail time.
FROMONG: You know, it's hard for me because the other day when I saw them, when I heard that he had been arrested, I turned it on.
And I have to admit that this is a man who used to call my mother on her birthday, you know, and sing "Happy Birthday." This is a man that called me the day after my mother was killed with condolences saying that if I need anything at all, just let him know. You know, if I needed anything.
This is a man that I, you know, eaten at his table. You know, I've traveled with him. I've talked with him. You know, I've done a lot of things with this man. And so it's hard for me to do this, but, you know, what he did was wrong, and, you know, it has to -- it cannot go unpunished.
ROWLANDS: When do you think you'll be out of the hospital, Bruce?
FROMONG: Hopefully I'll be out of here -- if the food doesn't kill me, I should be out of here in the next four or five days if everything goes right.
ROWLANDS: All right, Bruce Fromong, one of the alleged victims in this case joining us by phone from Cedars in Los Angeles. Bruce, thank you very much. We're going to take a quick break here. When we come back, we'll get the reaction from the panel on what Bruce said and more reaction on what happened today in Las Vegas. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALFRED BEARDSLEY, ALLEGED ROBBERY VICTIM: When you're a victim of a violent setting like this, you just -- it's like somebody telling you that somebody in your family passed away. You know how you get the cold chill through your body? It was scary. And you just wait it out, see what's going to happen, and, you know, see how the thing goes. And it was pretty bad.
THOMAS RICCIO, O.J. ASSOCIATE: I didn't set anybody up. This was -- in fact, O.J. Had some even stranger ideas on how to do this before.
KING: Like what?
RICCIO: Well, he wanted to do this so-called sting as he kept calling it and then have the media there and talk about how people are trying to rob from O.J. and make people feel sorry for him. I didn't think that would work. I said, let's just get the stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: And welcome back, everybody, to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry tonight from Las Vegas.
Harvey Levin, your reaction to what Bruce Fromong said and basically his allegation which a lot of other people have is that Tom Riccio is the dirtiest of these characters and should be held culpable.
LEVIN: Well, no doubt, Tom Riccio did put the tape-recorder in that room. The two things that I'd love to ask him, number one, on the tape that we put up on TMZ, he says that he's already called "Inside Edition." And this was minutes after O.J. left the room and I wanted to find out what that was about. But the bigger thing I wanted to find out about is that also on a tape that we put up today, Bruce is ballistic, I mean, just screaming after O.J. left. And he's saying, "I helped O.J. do this and I helped O.J. do that." And he says, "I helped him set up those offshore bank accounts." I really wanted to find out about that. I think the Goldmans ...
ROWLANDS: Well, I asked him if he had -- yeah.
LEVIN: I think the Goldmans' lawyer would love to know that, too.
ROWLANDS: The tape itself, you paid for these tapes? How did you get these tapes?
LEVIN: Well, I mean, we don't say how we get it. I will say we got it legally, and I also will say that it is common practice for lots of organizations to pay for tapes. There's nothing wrong with it. I mean, people pay for stringer tape all the time. So, you know, it's one thing if you pay for an interview. That's wrong. But if you pay for a videotape or an audiotape and the tape is the tape is the tape, that's the way everybody works in this town. I mean -- and they may say they don't, but they do.
ROWLANDS: Let's take a listen to some of the tape that you put up today and that you were just talking about featuring Bruce Fromong. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
FROMONG: Nobody puts a gun in my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) face. I stood up for that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) while he was in jail. I stood up for him in the press, I stood up for him on the stand. I helped him set up is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) offshore accounts. Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with me.
BEARDSLEY: No, what we're going to do is press charges. He's going to prison, man. O.J. is going to prison. There is no doubt about it.
FROMONG: Somebody set me up and I want to know who. I've already called the press. I've already called "Inside Edition." I'm trying to get Lydia's number. I told you we shouldn't have brought this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in. I told you, public place.
BEARDSLEY: Bruce, Bruce, you know how much money you're going to make?
FROMONG: I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: Mark Geragos, seems to be -- seems like that's kind of the type of audiotape that the defense might want to hear and everybody would want to hear. What do you think?
GERAGOS: Oh, my goodness, I'm telling you, as you were sitting there interviewing him, when Yale watches this tonight, Yale, I mean, this is a two-foot putt. This guy with his crocodile tears, with his protestations and everything else, he is a defense lawyer's filet mignon charred rare. I mean, this guy, I mean, with his protestations that everybody's calling me this, everybody's calling me that, he isn't going to last 35 seconds under cross-examination. He's a receiver of stolen property. He may even be the burglar of the stolen property. It's going to come out. I'll go out and be so bold as to predict that it's going to come out that one of the reasons he was obfuscating as to how he got this material is because he knows he's going to need an immunity letter.
The whole thing -- and I'll say it again -- you can't get a bigger collection of unsavory characters than here. And, you know, a jury at a certain point is going to just say a pox on both your houses.
TERRELL: Ted, I've got to admit to this, this is something that I've told you. I said this right at the outset. This case is crumbly.
GERAGOS: Make it quick, Leo. Make it quick.
TERRELL: Let me tell you very quickly, he did not tell you who the agent he received this information from or the products from. These documents or these items were given to him by an agent. He knows the name. I know the name. And that agent did not have the authority to give him those items.
ROWLANDS: All right. We are going to take a quick time-out to find out what's coming up at the top of the hour and do that. And to do that we go to New York and check in with Anderson Cooper. Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Ted Rowlands, we're also going to be taking a close look at the O.J. Simpson case, especially the men who police say were in that Las Vegas hotel room with him. Some of them have criminal pasts that you've been talking about. They've done a lot of talking. We'll hear what they said and piece it all together, try to get an idea of exactly what happened, the timeline in the Palace Station last Thursday. Also, the case against Warren Jeffs. The defense rested today but not before they questioned a Jeffs follower who defended his so- called prophet. We'll hear what he said on 360 at the top of the hour, Ted.
ROWLANDS: All right. We'll see you then. Thanks, Anderson Cooper, coming up at 10:00 Eastern Time. We're going to take a quick break and get everybody's reaction including Thomas Roberts' reaction to this case. Is it imploding? Stay with us. We're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Did the people coming into the room take the items?
BEARDSLEY: Yes, they did, Larry. They did.
KING: How many guns were involved?
BEARDSLEY: I only saw -- I know there were two, but I saw one. You know, this was a very small room in this seedy hotel that Riccio was staying at. And I only saw one -- this guy came over and ordered me at gunpoint to pack the items up in the boxes we brought them in, I refused. I was sitting in a chair, and I was told to get the F up, get the F up, and I did get up.
RICCIO: They were going to give him his stuff before the gun came out. It wasn't supposed to be that way. We talked about it several times. I have proof of that that we talked about it. He was supposed to go in there, give them the option of calling the police or turning the stuff over to him. That's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: And welcome back, everybody, to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry tonight from Las Vegas. Tomorrow night Larry has a huge interview with Dan Rather who today filed a lawsuit, a $70 million lawsuit against his old employer, CBS. That's tomorrow night here on LARRY KING LIVE.
Thomas Roberts, what does -- what's the speculation about this case, when O.J. was first arrested, what was the mood, and now as we're learning more and more about it, what are people thinking in terms of how guilty or not guilty O.J. may be, and what's your sense of it all?
ROBERTS: Well, I think there's a lot of speculation. And no offense to Mark and to Harvey, I think we can dissect the triangle of finger-pointing that's going on with Tom and Alfred and Bruce, but the person to talk about here is the person that's charged, and that's O.J.
"The Insider" was first to get a hold of the police report that was filed with the Vegas Police Department. We were there following O.J. as he was getting on that plane today. He's the person that we should be talking about and really not speculating about what's going to happen, but just talk about the facts in this. I'm not a lawyer, but the last time I checked, exactly what went down was a strong-arm robbery. And I think on LARRY KING LIVE just the other night, there was one of the guys that said yeah, there was a gun, and then his lawyer told him to shut up.
So I think that's where the facts are. That this happened. This took place. There's a tape. Obviously there's a tape we've all heard a lot about. But the facts are that these 10 felony charges and one misdemeanor charge and possibly even more to come as more people are being taken into custody.
ROWLANDS: Stacey Honowitz, don't drug dealers get arrested if they shoot another drug dealer? I mean, does it really matter the past of a victim in any crime?
HONOWITZ: Well, listen, I mean, you know, you're not looking at a case right now -- that everyone's probably saying look at these unsavory characters, and how are they going to be able to prove it? But that's the truth of it, Ted. The bottom line is people say that, you know, a prostitute can't be raped, and I think that's how people have to look at it. The bottom line is in cases you have victims, you have witnesses that have pasts. You don't always have, you know, upstanding citizens in the community that happen to have to come into court.
GERAGOS: But Stacey ...
HONOWITZ: Let me finish. Mark, let me ...
GERAGOS: I was just going to ask you a question.
HONOWITZ: I know you are chomping at the bit to do a number on me, I know that.
GERAGOS: The Ted Rowlands, I was just going to ask you. I sat in a courtroom about a month ago and there was a case where somebody had shot and killed a drug dealer. And this was normally a case if you had shot and killed somebody who was your grandmother walking across the street, you'd be looking at 25 to life, but they were offering him a deal of two years in state prison, and the guy was turning it down. You know and I know that every prosecutor, when you've got victims like this ...
HONOWITZ: Can I talk?
GERAGOS: ... are not going to like that case.
HONOWITZ: Can I talk? Can I finish? The bottom line is, like I say ...
HONOWITZ: ... does it make for the best case in the world? Absolutely not. It's always going to be a credibility issue. Does it mean that the state can't prove it? Absolutely not. Your victim can have a bad past. Will a jury love it? I don't know. They're not going to like it as much as somebody that doesn't have a past, but it doesn't mean the state can't prove its case. And that's the bottom line to all of it.
ROWLANDS: It certainly doesn't mean that a prosecutor is jumping for joy with this cast of characters.
LEVIN: And you've got to remember, too, O.J. Simpson has a past.
ROWLANDS: Right. And we'll talk about that, how that may impact the upcoming trial. Will O.J.'s past come into it? Can he get a jury that won't be thinking about it and won't be judged? Will their verdict be expected one way or another? We'll talk about that after this break. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How's O.J.?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: O.J. is fine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was it like seeing Marcia Clark today?
What was it like being in handcuffs again?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: Welcome back, everybody, to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Ted Rowlands filling in for Larry. We're running out of time. We want to get to everybody here. Leo, let's start with you. Do people hate O.J. Simpson, and will that hurt him, do you think, if this does go to trial?
TERRELL: Do people hate O.J. Simpson? Yes, unfortunately. There's people who support O.J. Simpson, like his family. Will it hurt him? Yes, because the media, every time they bring up O.J. Simpson, they have a high school reunion of 14 years ago and bring up the Nicole Brown Simpson case, and that's wrong.
ROWLANDS: Thomas Roberts, is the media acting appropriately here? Is there public fascination, or is there too much media fascination?
ROBERTS: Ted, I think that you and everybody else on this panel can probably tell us the moment that they heard the news, that O.J. was found not guilty, they know exactly where they were. It was like a JFK moment for our nation. The people that are involved in the case are historic pop culture figures, and I think that right now while the media is starting to latch on to this, it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out because maybe what everybody's going to learn is how everything went down the first time might be different the second time around as we go back to O.J. II.
ROWLANDS: Stacey, when you hear the tapes that Harvey has, as a prosecutor, I would think you want the tape in that shows the chaos in the room, but boy, the one we heard tonight, I don't want that in. Would it be best not to have this in at all, the audio?
HONOWITZ: Yeah, I don't even know if the audio's going to come in. You have to look at wiretapping statutes, and if it's illegally obtained tape, you're not going to get it in anyway. So while you want to hear the aggression in O.J.'s voice which the public has now heard, that second portion of the tape is a little difficult to take for a prosecutor.
ROWLANDS: Mark Geragos, is this imploding with every day in your mind?
GERAGOS: Actually, the more fascinating question to me is last night when Yale was talking with Stacey, I detected a little note of tension. And so I want to ask Stacey, if I can, is there -- is that personal? Professional? What's the deal?
HONOWITZ: I'm taking the Fifth. Did you ever hear that line before?
GERAGOS: I have. And by the way, what's the color of that lipstick? That's new, isn't it?
HONOWITZ: Deep mauve.
GERAGOS: Is that deep mauve. OK. Thank you, Stacey.
HONOWITZ: No problem.
ROWLANDS: Harvey Levin, any more tapes? Can we expect more tapes? We hear there are more out there.
LEVIN: I need to recover for a minute. There are more tapes. He has hours and hours of tapes. But I think that the telling tape is that six minutes inside the hotel room. And, you know, I'm guessing there was no reasonable expectation of privacy by anybody when you have, you know, eight people in a room. And it really does show O.J. Simpson, you know, with this real temper as a ringleader in this.
And I think when all is said and done, the other tapes are going to impeach the witnesses, but the tape is the tape is the tape. And if some of these co-defendants turn on O.J. Simpson, they admit there was a gun, and maybe even one of them says I was holding a gun, taken with the tape, I don't think that the prosecution case is imploding at all.
ROWLANDS: Thomas Roberts, Leo Terrell, Stacey Honowitz, Mark Geragos, Harvey Levin, thank you all for joining us tonight. Tomorrow night, a reminder, Larry will be back with Dan Rather who today filed a lawsuit against CBS News for $70 million, Dan Rather on the show tomorrow night. O.J. Simpson is on his way back to Miami as we speak. He should be landing there very soon after spending three days in jail, he is a free man, at least for now. Another court appearance next month.
Coming up right now on CNN, ANDERSON COOPER 360. Anderson in New York. Anderson, take it away.
COOPER: Ted, thanks very much. We'll hear more from you in a moment.
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