O.J. Simpson was acting on the advice of his former lawyer in 2007 when he was arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery as he attempted to retrieve his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room, a court has heard.
The former footballer-turned-actor made the claim in Clark County District Court on Wednesday (15May13) as part of his bid for an appeal against his 2008 conviction for masterminding the heist on two memorabilia dealers.
He alleges his then-attorney, Yale Galanter, was incompetent and is seeking a retrial to overturn the nine to 33 year sentence he is currently serving for the crimes.
Simpson, who did not testify in his original case, took the witness stand on Wednesday to share his side of the story, revealing that he had sought legal advice from Galanter before taking action to make sure that he was not breaking any laws.
He explained, "It was my stuff. I followed what I thought was the law. My lawyer told me I couldn't break into a guy's room. I didn't break into anybody's room. I didn't try to muscle the guys. The guys had my stuff, even though they claimed they didn't steal it."
Simpson struggled to maintain his composure as he recalled the items that he thought had been illegally taken from him: "Look at this stuff. Some of the stuff I didn't really realise was gone. These were things I hadn't seen in 10 years. You know, you get a little emotional about it."
Simpson's appearance on the witness stand came a day after Galanter's former co-counsel, Gabriel Grasso, admitted they lacked the funds to launch a comprehensive defence case against the charges their client faced.
Grasso also claimed that Galanter had mentioned plans to discuss a possible plea deal with Simpson - but the chat never took place and their infamous defendant had no idea prosecutors had made him any kind of offer.
The case continues.