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Crime writer rushed from O.J. trial to hospital

  • Story Highlights
  • Dominick Dunne hospitalized after complaining of pain at O.J. trial
  • Celebrity crime writer is battling bladder cancer
  • Dunne has covered Simpson's legal saga, other high-profile cases for Vanity Fair
  • He was in Las Vegas against his doctor's orders
  • Next Article in Crime »
By Paul Vercammen and Ann O'Neill
CNN
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Editor's note: Find live testimony and video clips of the Simpson trial on CNN.com Crime or CNN.com Live

Dominick Dunne was hospitalized Monday after complaining of pain at the O.J. Simpson trial.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Celebrity crime writer Dominick Dunne was rushed Monday from the courtroom where he is covering the O.J. Simpson trial to a Las Vegas hospital after complaining of pain.

"I am in a lot of pain. Lot of pain," Dunne, 82, told a CNN journalist who is covering the trial. "I want to go back to my hotel."

Dunne, who is battling bladder cancer, appeared ashen as he left the courtroom. Court staffers called paramedics, and Dunne was taken to Valley Hospital.

About an hour later, Dunne told CNN over the telephone that he was "OK."

"I am doing fine under the circumstances," he said over the phone from the hospital. "But this probably means that I will have to go back to New York in the next few days."

Dunne had traveled to Las Vegas against his doctor's orders to cover Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trial for the magazine Vanity Fair. As the trial began last week, he told fellow writers and journalists that he enjoyed being back at work after a "difficult summer" battling his cancer.

Last week, a woman was ejected from the courtroom after rushing up and kissing a startled Dunne.

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The Vanity Fair "diarist," as he is known, has spent more than three decades covering high profile trials, including Simpson's previous criminal and civil trials; both murder trials of the Menendez brothers, who are serving life sentences for killing their wealthy parents; the mistrial of music producer Phil Spector; and the murder trial of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, who also is serving time. Video Watch what high profile trials are on the docket »

Dunne's stunned expression in the background as the not guilty verdicts were announced is an iconic image of Simpson's murder trial.

Dunne, an author and former television and movie producer, writes about his "second" career as a crime journalist in this month's Vanity Fair.

"I didn't start writing until I was 50 years old, although I had been observing the lives of the rich and famous for 40 of those 50 years, while trying out different occupations," Dunne writes. His lucky break as a writer came, he writes, when he was seated next to former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.

Tragedy had brought Dunne to his second career. His daughter, an up-and-coming actress, was stalked and killed by a former boyfriend. The man was convicted of a lesser charge and served very little prison time. Dunne was enraged.

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"In 1982, my only daughter, Dominique, was strangled to death by a former boyfriend who stalked her," Dunne writes. He adds that his pen literally became his sword: "It wouldn't be necessary to hire a killer to kill the killer of my daughter, as I had contemplated. I could write about it. I could go on shows like 'Larry King Live' and talk about it. I could become an advocate for victims."

Dunne has said that the O.J. Simpson armed robbery trial would probably be his last. He plans to work on his memoirs.

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