When O.J. Simpson appeared before a parole board Thursday in Nevada, Thomas Scotto was right by his side.
"He's my best friend, my only friend."
Thomas Scotto has known O.J. Simpson for more than two decades, and was by his side when the NFL Hall of Famer was convicted of robbery in Las Vegas, almost a decade ago.
"His family is basically my family, when I come here I stay at Shirley's house his sister, I have my own bedroom," said Scotto.
Now that the Nevada Parole Board decided to release Simpson, he could be trading his sparse prison cell for Naples, Florida. "I'm hoping so," said Scotto, who owns a business and lives in Collier County.
Simpson avoided prison two decades ago when a jury acquitted him of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
Scotto's hope was that parole board members and the public wouldn't judge him based on that controversial verdict.
"When it's O.J. Simpson, it becomes political."
Simpson is set to be released on October 1.