Monday, September 22, 2008

Your Black News: Simpson Trial Witness Admits to Taking Money

LAS VEGAS — The man who set up the hotel-room confrontation that led to armed robbery charges against O. J. Simpson testified Monday that he had received at least $210,000 from several news organizations, including ABC News, in exchange for interviews, photographs and parts of an audio recording he had secretly made of the events.The witness, Thomas Riccio, a collectibles auctioneer whose recordings of the September 2007 meeting are a major piece of evidence in Mr. Simpson’s trial, listed for the jury the fees he said he had collected in the days after Mr. Simpson and five other men entered a room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino, argued with two other collectibles dealers and left with an estimated $100,000 in sports memorabilia from Mr. Simpson’s celebrated football career and those of other professional athletes.

Those fees included $150,000 from the celebrity gossip Web site for excerpts of Mr. Riccio’s audio recording, as well as $15,000 from ABC News and $25,000 from the syndicated television show “Entertainment Tonight” for what Mr. Riccio said were interviews about the confrontation.

But spokesmen for ABC News and “Entertainment Tonight” said the payments were not for interviews but for other materials. A spokeswoman for said the Web site does not comment about how it acquires material.


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