O.J. Simpson cast himself as a victim of an ambitious Nevada prosecutor who the former NFL star, actor and celebrity criminal defendant blamed for pressing a kidnapping and armed robbery case that he says even the alleged victims don't want to pursue.
"If I was anybody else, I wouldn't be going to court," Simpson told a reporter for Fargo, N.D., radio station KFGO who interviewed him late Tuesday at a cigar bar near where Simpson was vacationing in northwest Minnesota.
"How many trials have you ever heard of where both of the victims say they don't want this guy to go to jail, they don't want to go to court, and you still go to court?" Simpson asked. "It's only me.
"But unfortunately for me," Simpson added, "I got like a bull's eye on my front, dollar sign on my back, you get involved with people who want to be governor and stuff."
Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined comment on the apparent reference to his political aspirations.
Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, said Thursday that Simpson was venting his frustration about facing trial Sept. 8 in Las Vegas on charges carrying the possibility of prison time.
"I think O.J.'s comments show how totally frustrated he is over this incident that involves family heirlooms that were stolen from him by some very nefarious characters," Galanter said.
Galanter also downplayed Simpson's comments about the prosecutor, saying that he had the "utmost respect" for Roger and another prosecutor in the case, Chris Owens.
"I have no reason to believe their motives in this case have been anything less than ethical and honorable," Galanter said.
Simpson and two co-defendants, Ehrlich and Clarence "C.J." Stewart, have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges stemming from allegations they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas casino hotel room last September. Simpson has denied any guns were involved.
A kidnapping conviction carries the possibility of life in prison with the possibility of parole. An armed robbery conviction would mean mandatory prison time.