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Simpson says he and alleged victim agree incident overblown

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Alleged armed robbery victim says Simpson apologized in a phone call
  • Simpson is under scrutiny after the incident at a Las Vegas hotel
  • Alleged victim calls it "a home invasion-type robbery"
  • Simpson: No guns were involved, "I just wanted to get my stuff back"
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(CNN) -- O.J. Simpson says he and one of the alleged victims of a robbery that's put new scrutiny on the former NFL star have spoken by telephone and agree the incident was blown out of proportion.

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O.J. Simpson, seen at a 2002 boxing match, was questioned by Las Vegas police.

Simpson told CNN on Saturday that Alfred Beardsley had called him.

Beardsley confirmed the conversation to celebrity Web site TMZ.com, saying Simpson apologized to him and told him he regretted the incident.

Las Vegas police said they received a call Thursday evening from someone who reported that various sports-related items had been taken from him in a room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino, and said Simpson was involved.

Simpson was questioned about the incident, but no arrests have been made.

Simpson told CNN's Ted Rowlands on Friday he had been tipped off that some of his personal items were for sale at the hotel, things he hadn't seen in years or that had been stolen. Video Watch a report on the latest developments in the probe »

Among those, he said, were photographs of his family and himself as a child and photographs and negatives taken by his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

"I just wanted to get my stuff back," Simpson told Rowlands.

Simpson, 60, said he entered the room with a group of friends, one of whom was posing as a potential buyer. The friends helped him carry items out.

But, he said, no guns were involved, and the incident was not a robbery.

"What would you have done?" he asked. "I'm O.J. Simpson. Who am I going to rob?"

He said he knew the alleged victims in the case -- Beardsley and Bruce Fromong, a sports memorabilia collector.

Fromong told CNN that two of the men accompanying Simpson pointed guns at the occupants of the room. He described the incident as "a home invasion-type robbery." Watch Fromong talk about what happened Video

Fromong testified for Simpson's defense in the 1997 wrongful death trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by the family of Ron Goldman, who was killed in 1994 alongside Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995, but the jury in the 1997 trial found him liable and awarded the Goldmans $33.5 million.

Fromong testified that prices for Simpson memorabilia had dropped substantially since the 1995 verdict, part of a defense contention that Simpson could not possibly afford to pay the Goldmans.

Earlier Friday, Thomas Riccio told Fox5 News (KVVU) television in Las Vegas that he was the one who told Simpson about the sale.

He said he had received a call about a month ago from someone who said he wanted to auction some of Simpson's possessions by placing them on consignment.

Riccio said he then called Simpson, with whom had he done business in the past, and the former football player told him the items had been stolen.

Riccio said that as he was being shown the items in the hotel room, Simpson entered and seized them. He said there was no break-in, and no gun was used.

Beardsley told TMZ.com that Simpson told him that, regarding the property issue, police had advised them to "work it out amongst themselves."

Nicole Simpson and Goldman were stabbed to death outside her Brentwood townhouse on June 12, 1994. Simpson, who appeared in movies after his football career, was arrested soon after the killings but maintained he was "absolutely, 100 percent, not guilty."

The Goldman family published a book about the slayings that just hit bookstores.

Simpson wrote the book under the title "If I Did It" and planned to publish it himself, but an outcry led to the cancellation of his book deal.

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A bankruptcy judge subsequently awarded the Goldmans the rights to the book in light of their inability to collect the wrongful death award. They retitled the book "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer."

Simpson told CNN that "my family put this book thing behind us a long time ago. I have nothing against the Goldmans. More power to them." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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