Julie Jacobson - Pool/WireImage
O.J. Simpson is sorry.
The 66-year-old onetime football hero appeared in the Carson City courtroom Thursday via a video broadcast from Lovelock Correctional Center, where he pleaded for leniency at his parole hearing, begging the Nevada court to cut his prison sentence stemming from his 2008 charges for over a dozen crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery.
He was sentenced to serve 33 years in prison after he was convicted of masterminding a raid on two sports memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station hotel-casino in 2007. He was found guilty exactly 13 years after his controversial acquittal for the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
"I am just sorry I had to send the state of Nevada legal system through all of this, because I know it has not been fun for the people involved," he told the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, per published reports. "I just wish I never went to that room. I wish I just said 'Keep it.'"
Simpson and five other men were accused of holding up two men at gunpoint in a Vegas hotel room in an attempt to recover old Simpson keepsakes he claimed were rightfully his. O.J. believed the memorabilia dealers had items which had been swiped from him.
During the hearing, Simpson said his nearly five years in prison "have been somewhat illuminating at times and painful a lot of times," but he pointed to his self-proclaimed model behavior at the Lovelock Correctional Center in an effort to prove he's a changed man.
"Since I came to Lovelock, I gave them my word that I would be the best prisoner they ever had," he was quoted as saying. "I think I've kept my word."
Simpson also said how painful it's been to miss out on family milestones:
"I missed my two younger kids who worked hard getting through high school, I missed their college graduations," he said. "I missed my sister's funeral. I missed all the birthdays."
And he attempted to differentiate his crime from other typical robberies, claiming his case stands out, and therefore, his sentence should be cut.
"The difference between all of their crimes and mine is that they were trying to steal other people's property, they were trying to steal other people's money," the erstwhile Naked Gun star argued. "My crime was trying to retrieve, for my family, my own property."
The parole hearing is separate from Simpson's May bid for a retrial, where he accused his ex-lawyer of bad defense, claiming he did not "break into anybody's room."
The parole board did not make an immediate decision following the hearing Thursday.