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By Ted Goodman

O.J. “The Juice” Simpson, who has captivated the American pop culture scene ever since his time as an All-American running back at the University of Southern California, once called President Donald Trump “a buddy.”

Simpson, whose life has taken him from the bright lights of the NFL to the darkness of a jail cell, was granted parole before the Nevada Board of Parole on Thursday. The former football star was acquitted in 1995 of a double murder, but was later jailed for an armed robbery in Nevada.

The NFL Hall of Famer grew into a celebrity juggernaut after his NFL career ended, crossing paths with Trump over the years, even considering the real estate mogul a friend.

Simpson attended Trump’s wedding to Marla Maples in October 1993. He talked to reporters, where he called Trump a “buddy of mine.”

Trump also considered Simpson for his show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump told Howard Stern in 2008 that he wanted Simpson for the show, but NBC would not allow it. Trump also reportedly said during the same interview that he cut ties with Simpson because “I don’t like people that kill their wives.”

During a 2004 interview, Trump recalled a story of a time he saw Simpson and his wife, Nicole, at a hotel in Los Angeles, according to CNN.

“I’m sitting having dinner and O.J. came up to me, I was sitting with very important people, big bankers, nobody that you know, big, big bankers, and we were sitting there, there were six of us, and O.J. came up,” Trump said in 2004. “And he was talking to us for about three minutes, and Nicole, was with her mother I think, and she came over, and she started screaming at him, ‘get over to the table, what the hell are you,’ she was rough, in all fairness.”

During Thursday’s parole board hearing, Simpson was caught on a hot mic joking about the president’s eating habits with his attorney, Malcolm LaVergne. The two bantered about a Time Magazine report in April that claimed Trump gets two scoops of ice cream, while everyone else eating with him gets one.

“Kind of like President Trump,” Lavergne said. “Trump gets two scoops. Everyone else gets one.”

“Oh, I heard that,” Simpson replied with a smile. “I heard that.”

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