O.J. Simpson's life in Las Vegas after release from prison

O.J. Simpson (center) and guests during "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" Las Vegas Premiere at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Bruce Gifford/FilmMagic)

Football legend, former inmate and Las Vegas resident O.J. Simpson, whose real name was Orenthal James Simpson, died on April 10 at the age of 76 -- nearly 30 years after he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nichole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman and almost 7 years after he was released from prison after serving 9 years for robbery.

Simpson was convicted of stealing sports memorabilia (that he believed belonged to him) from two men in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007. On Dec. 5, 2008, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison with parole eligibility after 9 years.

Simpson was granted parole in July 2017 and released from Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada on Oct. 1, 2017, the same day that 58 people were killed in a mass shooting in Las Vegas.

It was initially believed that Simpson would move to Florida upon release. Simpson had lived in South Florida after he was acquitted of murder. However, he lost the home he purchased there while he sat in prison and the house was reportedly destroyed in 2022. Although Simpson decided not to move to Florida after his parole, he did visit his children there occasionally while living in Las Vegas.  

Simpson lived in a gated golf community in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas and was often seen playing at Canyon Gate Country Club, Arroyo Golf Club, Angel Park Golf Club and even the public links at Red Rock Country Club, according to various sources.

Like many celebrities, Simpson had spent a considerable amount of time in Las Vegas, attending movie premieres and boxing matches, prior to the robbery in 2007, and was in Las Vegas at the time of the robbery to attend a wedding of a friend.

Not long after his release, Simpson was reportedly thrown out of the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino and banned from the property for life after he became disruptive. He denied the allegations and threatened to sue the property for defamation for $100 million. Eventually, Simpson and Cosmopolitan reached a settlement in 2021.   

With the exception of the Cosmopolitan, Simpson was welcome at most establishments in Las Vegas. He became a common fixture at the type of events that were attended by other celebrities and VIPs, such as the opening of the Las Vegas Ballpark in 2019 and show openings. He also frequented popular restaurants throughout the city, particularly those located near his home in Summerlin, like the Grape Street Cafe & Wine Bar. It also wasn't unusual to see Simpson at a farmers market near his home or shopping in his Summerlin neighborhood. 

In 2018, he was caught on camera at one of those restaurants saying "Being a felon ain't all bad." Simpson definitely enjoyed the star treatment that he received at most, if not all, establishments and he was often bombarded by tourists and locals who begged for selfies, autographs and high-fives. He was also frequently spotted in the company of younger, blonde women. 

Additionally, Simpson frequented a local dive bar named Moon Doggies Bar & Grill and others in the area to watch his beloved Buffalo Bills play. 

Simpson certainly didn't shy away from the public eye. He maintained an active presence on social media, creating his Twitter account, now known as X, in 2019. Regularly sharing videos, he engaged his followers in discussions ranging from sports to various other topics. And if he had an opinion about something, he made it known, including talking about former President Donald Trump, Elon Musk, the Tiger King, Alex Murdaugh's murder trial in South Carolina and Gwyneth Paltrow’s skiing lawsuit.

Simpson also reportedly signed many items, including jerseys, footballs, helmets, baseballs and photographs, for a little extra cash. In 2018, Ron Goldman's family took him to court in an effort to force Simpson to hand over any money he made from celebrity appearances or autograph signings in order to satisfy the wrongful death judgment in connection to the deaths of Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. However, a judge ruled in Simpson's favor and it appears he has continued to sell his signature since then. 


In March 2020, Simpson made headlines again for a tweet about the coronavirus. He tweeted a photo of himself outside of a Costco store, where he was a regular customer, with a load of toilet paper, water, and paper towels. He didn't let the coronavirus slow him down though. Just a few months later, he celebrated his 73rd birthday (sans mask) at the Jing Las Vegas restaurant. 

However, a lot of people were unhappy with him in January 2021 when he posted a photo of himself receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot. Many people asked how a "murderer" could receive the vaccine before them. At that time, all Nevada residents over the age of 65 were eligible for the vaccine. 

Simpson announced he had cancer, although he did not say what kind, in May 2023, and would also share health updates on social media. He was spotted limping through the streets of Las Vegas in early November, but in February he took to social media again to dispel rumors that he was in hospice. He also said that he was hosting a Super Bowl party in Las Vegas. 

 Simpson died in Las Vegas, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, according to a post by his family on his X account.

This story was written in Atlanta by a former Las Vegas resident and journalist.