This Moment In OJ's Parole Hearing Just Cost Connie Bisbee Her HLN Spinoff
Being involved in a televised O.J. Simpson hearing can be the opportunity of a lifetime. But one moment in O.J.'s parole hearing just kept Connie Bisbee from being America's most beloved Parole Board Chairman. No fame, no fortune, no HLN spinoff. Bisbee blew her big break after she accidentally said that Simpson was 90 years old. D'oh! From the start, the hearing appeared more light-hearted than viewers might have expected. Bisbee seemed charmed by Simpson almost immediately, flashing him a smile when he squinted to identify his own signature. Just like your auntie who thinks everything you do is adorable.
Depending on your age, you might know Simpson best as a former professional football player, an actor, an accused murderer who was later found not guilty, or a convicted armed robber. Or maybe you only know him as a character played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. Simpson was found not guilty of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. But in 2008, he was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation involving sports memorabilia, according to CNN. Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison, which his legal team argued was excessive. On Thursday, he met with the parole board via video conference to discuss the possibility of an early release.
After reading Simpson's convictions aloud, Bisbee assured Simpson, "You are getting the same hearing that everyone else gets," but due to the unusually large crowd in attendance, she would be speaking at length. The pair then chuckled together like old friends. Bisbee was getting along great with her "guest," and she even made sure that her "audience" was comfortable. What a natural! But then, it happened. "We have you as male," Bisbee said, glancing at a file, "And we have that you are currently... Well, very recently turned 90 years old." Pausing a beat, she rolled her eyes and recovered. "'90,' I'm sorry about that. You look great for 90! How 'bout we take two decades off and call you 70?"
But the hearing got away from Bisbee after that. The other parole board members took turns questioning Simpson, after which he joked about whether he'd remain in the state if paroled: "Stay in Nevada? I don't think you guys want me here!" His daughter, Arnelle, spoke next, followed by his attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, and finally, Simpson's victim, Bruce Fromong, who recently told the New York Post that he's in favor of Simpson's release. Fromong stressed that Simpson never hit or pointed a gun at him during the robbery. Bisbee then called the 80-minute hearing to recess so the board could deliberate, and she breezed out of our lives just as quickly as she breezed in. Connie Bisbee, the cable news star that never was.