- OJ Simpson, 66, incarcerated at medium security Lovelock Correctional Center, is afraid prisoners out to make a name for themselves are gunning for him
- He’s already been attacked twice, according to Ron Goldman’s father Fred, who likes to keep tabs on OJ
- OJ tapped convict Willie ‘Smoke” Hartwell to be his bodyguard. He’s six feet tall and weighs 180
- Smoke gets paid in snacks, toiletries and magazines from the commissary. OJ has a fat prison bank account is no longer in shipshape.
- He is overweight and has high blood pressure and diabetes
Where there’s ‘Smoke’ there’s OJ. The 66-year-old disgraced gridiron great has hired himself a fellow felon – Willie Hartwell, aka Smoke – to protect him in prison.
OJ has been worried about attacks from aggressive inmates at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, where he has been incarcerated since 2008. He fears there are prisoners who want to make a name for themselves by hurting ‘The Juice,’ especially on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the brutal murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.
‘He found the biggest guy who is in great shape and willing to fend off the bullies to help OJ out — but, of course, it comes at a price,’ a close friend revealed.
My Bodyguard: Willie Hartwell, aka Smoke, will be watching OJ’s back. ‘He found the biggest guy who is in great shape and willing to fend off the bullies to help OJ out — but, of course, it comes at a price,’ a friend revealed.
Smoke is only 44-years-old, he’s 6′ tall, weighs 180 pounds and his physical build is described as ‘large’ on the Nevada Criminal Identification Demographics records. And he’s prepared to watch OJ’s back for a few favors.
‘Obviously, OJ can’t give Smoke any cash money but since he still gets bucks from his books every month through his family and from his female fans, Smoke tells OJ what he wants from the commissary — extra food, toiletries, stamps to send out letters, magazines – and OJ will get it for him!
‘And OJ has also promised if he is paroled in 2017 and Smoke is still there he will continue to put money on his books until he is paroled and help him when he gets out, like if he needs a place to crash for a while.’
‘OJ even told Smoke he may hire him as a bodyguard when they are both free because the world is just as dangerous as prison life is for him! But he joked he will pay him in it cash instead of cookies, an extra blanket or cup-a-soup noodles!’
Willie ‘Smoke’ Hartwell was jailed in in 2002 for armed robbery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping. This was not his first time in the slammer.
The kidnapping charges were dropped in a plea deal and he was sentenced to 10-25 in the medium security prison in Lovelock, Nevada, where he later met OJ in 2008. OJ who was also convicted for armed robbery and kidnapping.
Flabby: OJ is not the football powerhouse he once was, not by a long shot. He has high blood pressure, diabetes and his knees are so banged up from playing football he can barely walk.
As reported exclusively by MailOnline last week, Fred Goldman, the father of Nicole’s friend who was murdered with her on that hot June night, revealed OJ had been attacked several times.
Goldman says that he had heard a couple of rumors about Simpson, so he called the District Attorney’s office in Nevada to find out if they were true or not.
The first was that OJ was beaten up in prison. He found out the former NFL star was hit hard in his chest by another inmate but it was nothing serious.
The second rumor was that ‘someone in the prison found OJ attractive.’ The DA told him the prison officials reported back ‘We know nothing about THAT!’ — but their tone was very tongue-and-cheek. When Fred pressured the DA and asked ‘what does that mean?’ the DA responded; ‘it means exactly what you think it means.’
Goldman said the DA gave him the impression that OJ had, indeed, been sexually attacked.
‘When OJ first arrived at Lovelock he was treated like royalty by the prisoners because they watched this guy play football for years so they were big fans. But after all the fanfare wore off and OJ was treated just like everybody else by the guards he became a target,’ the family friend added.
Fairytale turns horror story: Oj and Nicole were divorced when stabbed to death. Her neck was cut from ear-to-ear with her head almost severed from her body. She was 35, the mother of Sydney and Justin Simpson
‘Over the past couple of years OJ started having some problems because of all of the scuttlebutt between the prisoners about his appeal and possible parole so they feel his days are numbered and they wanted to get some stuff from him or make a name for themselves before he left for good.
‘Some of the inmates started harassing OJ, forcing him to get them some things from the commissary and attacking him when the guards were not looking.’
OJ is not the football powerhouse he once was, not by a long shot. He has high blood pressure, diabetes and his knees are so banged up from playing football he can barely walk.
His excessive weight gain adds to all of these problems.
‘So a younger guy could take OJ down with very little effort and some of them want to be the one to literally bring OJ to his knees before he can get out of there in a few year,’ the friend continued.
‘But OJ has something the other inmates don’t and that’s a lot of money on his books every month so he ‘hired’ Smoke to literally play defense for him inside the prison.’
And he picked the right guy.
No escape: The Lovelock Correctional facility is out in the middle of the Nevada desert and backed up against sky scraping mountains.
‘Now we are in the summer months and it gets really hot in the Nevada desert so OJ feels free to hang outside in the prison yard and coach one of the prison baseball teams while eating ice cream on the bench because Smoke is right there making sure nobody bothers OJ.’
OJ has a sweet tooth that he has a hard time controlling so when he’s not wrapping his mouth around an ice cream sandwich, one of his favorites, he’s may be ‘lifting’ a few extra cookies from the chow hall!
As previously reported last year, OJ filled up his shirt with oatmeal cookies but he was busted by a prison guard on the way back to his cell after lunch.
Initially the guard thought OJ was trying to smuggle in a cell phone or some other sort of contraband so he was flabbergasted to find ‘the juice’ had packed his shirt with cookies!
The guard yelled out; ‘Simpson! Hold it right there!’ Once the guard opened up his shirt and started throwing the cookies onto the floor the other prisoners began to hoot, howl and fall over with laughter! OJ stood there there with a goofy grin on his face, totally embarrassed.
A father’s grief: Fred Goldman (right), father of Ron. a friend of Nicole’s who just happened to drop by her confo to return her mother’s glasses, keeps tabs on OJ and says he was attacked twice. One was a rape.
But this is what his life has become — OJ’s new normal — and it will be that way for at least another three years when he will be up for parole in 2017.
Lovelock Correctional Center is located about 5 miles from the tiny town of Lovelock, Nevada, about 93 miles from Reno. The correctional facility is out in the middle of the desert and backed up against sky scraping mountains on one side and facing a the Interstate highway on the other, which is 2 miles away, so it is literally impossible to escape without being quickly detected.
Lovelock houses mostly medium custody general population inmates, but there are some close custody protective segregation inmates as well as separate unit housing a small number of minimum custody inmates. The total capacity for Lovelock is approximately 1,680 inmates.