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September 1, 2014

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Justice:

Hard-to-swallow O.J. humor video salvaged

DVD company looks for market where one wasn’t before

Beyond the Sun

  • Juiced (This Web site is not affiliated with lasvegassun.com and may contain
objectionable content)

Heeeeeere’s O.J. — standing next to a white Ford Bronco at a Las Vegas car dealership and selling the vehicle he “personally made famous” to customers caught on hidden camera. Here’s a bullet hole above the front wheel well with his autograph above the punctured metal. Simpson tells potential buyers:

“I mean, if you ever get into some trouble and you gotta get away, it has escape-ability.”

And there’s more — 90 minutes of “candid camera extravaganza” crammed onto the DVD “Juiced” and selling online for $19.95.

The marketing of the DVD has ramped up while Simpson sits in jail in Clark County, waiting to be sentenced after jurors last week found him guilty of 12 robbery-related charges.

Did pundits really say Simpson mania was over now that a conviction has stuck?

“Juiced” is a comedy with the same punch line every time: O.J.

He’s the butt of his own jokes. In one, he stands by the side of the road selling oranges. In another, he plays a pizza delivery man. In a third, he’s dressed like a bum, looking for windows to squeegee. Many of the bits were filmed in Las Vegas.

It’s 90 minutes of Simpson mocking himself. Depending on how you look at it, this means humor’s his way of dealing with ignominy or O.J. just doesn’t give a damn.

Like any number of similar stunts — the failed AskOJ.com Web site, the “If I Did It” book fiasco — “Juiced” can be explained by its creators as Simpson’s opportunity to show the world what he’s really like. We’ve been told several times, by people who stand to make money off a confession, that O.J. is dying for a chance to explain himself.

With “Juiced,” Simpson forces funny down our throats and hopes for a laugh instead of a choke.

Even when these schemes don’t work, they do. We find O.J. back in our living rooms like a guest that doesn’t get the hint.

David Cook, the attorney representing the Goldman family, has fought for years to siphon Simpson’s income as payment for the $33 million civil judgment the family won after Simpson was acquitted of the killings of their son Ron and Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole in 1994. Because the Goldmans essentially can claim any money Simpson makes, Cook has subpoenaed Simpson’s financial records several times. He’s never seen any indication that Simpson was making money off the DVD. But Simpson is a businessman, Cook says, who “does nothing for free.”

The company selling “Juiced” online, Xtreme Entertainment Group, also markets such reality DVDs as “Backyard Wrestling,” “Busty College Girls Totally X-Posed” and “Felony Fights.” Company officials did not return several calls and e-mails for comment.

It’s unclear how long the company has been selling the DVD. But some of the material has been around since 2006, when the white Bronco sales pitch was aired on “Inside Edition” — a sneak peak of a “Juiced” pay-per-view special. Press accounts from that time indicate the footage was filmed for a failed pilot that was later picked off the reject pile by Xtreme Entertainment Group, which claimed it had Simpson’s blessing to sell it.

Yale Galanter, attorney for the former football star, told national news media, “We have no contractual relationship with the people ... who are distributing this. We don’t know them. They’ve never contacted us. There are no financial arrangements.”

Nobody cared about “Juiced” before, Cook said, because it was worthless ­— the video equivalent of swampland. Now, however, things are different.

Is it coincidence footage that once flopped has suddenly been marketed anew, just as Simpson shuffles in wearing cuffs?

Galanter did not return calls for comment. Simpson has refused to give interviews from the Clark County Detention Center.

If Simpson makes money off the DVD, Cook will go after it in a heartbeat, he says.

And that’s Simpson’s real sentence — he’s the cracked piggy bank, more product than person, selling any shred of himself that the public will buy: DVD, sports memorabilia, tell-all novels, his remaining dignity — until the shelves are bare.

Cook thinks that day could come:

“There is a limit to how many pennies you can pick up off the ground folks.”

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