Report: Victims’ Families Outraged after Sacha Baron Cohen Pays O.J. Simpson $20K to Appear in Film

Sacha Baron Cohen O.J. Simpson Getty/AP

The families of the late Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown are outraged after learning that actor-prankster Sacha Baron Cohen allegedly paid O.J. Simpson tens of thousands of dollars to appear in his next film project, according to a report.

The Daily Mail reported Sunday that Borat star Baron Cohen paid Simpson — who famously avoided a conviction for the murders of Goldman and Brown in 1995 but was later jailed on an armed robbery conviction — $20,000 to appear in a segment for his next film, details of which are being kept tightly under wraps.

A source close to the production told the British publication that Baron Cohen donned a wig and a set of glasses to meet Simpson in a hotel room in Las Vegas, where Simpson is currently living after being released from jail in October of last year. Simpson was paroled in July after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence.

While Simpson escaped a conviction in the notorious, nationally televised 1995 criminal trial over the slayings of Brown and Goldman, he was later found liable in a civil suit and ordered to pay more than $33 million in restitution to the victims’s families.

“If money changed hands then all of the money paid should go to Ron’s father Fred,” David Cook, an attorney for the Goldman family, said in a statement according to the Mail. “There is a legal and moral imperative here.”

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Baron Cohen, in character as Borat, poses in the Awards Room at the 12th annual MTV Europe Music Awards 2005 at the Atlantic Pavilion on November 3, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for MTV)

The Mail reported that it had approached Simpson on Friday for comment on a possible payment from Baron Cohen for the film role, though the former actor and football star did not confirm whether a fee had been paid.

“I know him well. I met him,” Simpson reportedly told the outlet of Baron Cohen. “Nice guy.”

But in her own statement, Nicole Brown’s sister Tanya slammed Baron Cohen for reportedly including Simpson in the project.

In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles. (Myung J. Chun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Fred Goldman, (L) his wife Patti Goldman, (2nd L)their lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, (2nd R) and daughter Kim Goldman (R) arrive 10 February at the Santa Monica Court for the final phase of the wrongful death civil suit against O.J. Simpson for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. (TIZIANA SORGE/AFP/Getty Images)

“Nicole and Ron are two human beings who were brutally murdered. This is not a joke nor is it entertainment,” she reportedly said, according to the Mail. “If Sacha makes this a comedic effort his victims will be personified as a joke. Shame on him.”

Baron Cohen, 46, rose to fame as the star of Da Ali G Show in the early 2000s before moving over to films with the release of the smash hit comedy Borat in 2006, based on a character from his popular television series. He has since appeared in numerous other films, including Sweeney Todd, Bruno, The Dictator, and Les Miserables.

The actor most recently co-starred in the 2016 sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum