Ex-Manager "Sure" O.J. Simpson Will Watch FX Series, Bashes Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Performance

Courtesy of ABC News
Norman Pardo on 'GMA'

"I'm sure he's a really nice guy and all, but he's definitely not like O.J. Simpson," Norman Pardo said of the 'American Crime Story' actor. "He doesn't look like O.J. in any way, shape or form, and definitely doesn't sound like him."

O.J. Simpson's friend and former manager, Norman Pardo, has weighed in on FX's much-talked-about new series about the former NFL star's murder trial: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Appearing via video on Thursday's Good Morning America, Pardo said Simpson wasn't happy about the show, particularly with a parole hearing coming up next year, which Pardo predicted the show would significantly impact. Mainly, though, Pardo said Simpson doesn't want the case brought up again for the sake of his kids.

"I think they're having to relive something that they don't want to do," Pardo said of Simpson's children. "And it's going to last for a couple months, that's the sad thing."

Still, Pardo thinks that Simpson will find a way to watch the series, even though Simpson will probably say he won't.

"I'm sure he will [watch it] because O.J., he'll say he won't but he always does. He always says he never reads the rags but he does. I mean, curiosity. It's about him," Pardo told GMA's George Stephanopoulos. "He'll watch. Somehow they'll figure out a way to do it."

It remains to be seen what Simpson thinks of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s portrayal of him in the FX series. Gooding didn't reach out to Simpson, explaining that he thought the former NFL star's personality had likely changed since he started serving his 33-year sentence for felonies including kidnapping and armed robbery.

"I have a lot of friends and family who are incarcerated, and I know what that jail cell does to your psyche. I didn't want him to take me into that frame of mind," Gooding told The Hollywood Reporter. "He was the O.J. Simpson whom everyone loved — not just an athlete but a movie star — and in that cage, he's a broken man. Now, if I did a movie about O.J. Simpson in jail, I would do everything I could to sit with him and get into his mindset today, but I wanted to understand who he was when this crime happened."

But Pardo wasn't impressed with Gooding's performance, to say the least.

"I'm sure he's a really nice guy and all, but he's definitely not like O.J. Simpson. They never consulted, I think, anybody from O.J.'s side to explain that that's not O.J. It doesn't even sound like him," Pardo said. "He did the best he could, I guess. It's just O.J. Simpson has a charisma about him. He's a good-looking guy, he's a ladies' man, big guy, football player. When he walks into a room everybody runs to him, the women. … [Gooding] doesn't look like O.J. in any way, shape or form, and definitely doesn't sound like him."

Pardo also addressed Concussion inspiration Dr. Bennet Omalu's theory that Simpson has CTE, the disease caused by repeated head trauma in football players that Omalu discovered.

Without mentioning specifically whether he thinks Simpson has CTE, Pardo said, "O.J. has a lot of issues. He'll do things that are just whacked out. He'll sit in a corner and he'll talk to himself. He'll answer himself. And I've caught him doing that numerous times. … He doesn't really understand a lot of things. Like Vegas, when he went into that room [where the robbery occurred that landed him in jail]. He knew better. He called me and I told him, 'Don't go in there' but he did it because he doesn't understand things. When you handle him he's like a child."


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