Courthouse News Service
Courthouse News Service

Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, October 22, 2008Last Update: 10:55:45 AM

OJ Simpson Trial Figure
Says Dr. Phil Defamed Him

      LOS ANGELES (CN) - The sports memorabilia dealer who arranged the hotel-room meeting for which OJ Simpson was convicted of robbery, says TV celebrity Dr. Phil defamed him on his show and in commercials. Thomas Riccio claims Dr. Phil's TV show edited and spliced his statements to make it appear that he was confessing to doing things he did not do.
     Riccio sued Phil McGraw and Stage 29 Media Productions in Superior Court. He claims they deceptively edited questions and responses in an Oct. 6 interview that was broadcast on McGraw's Oct. 8 show. Riccio claims the defamatory segments were broadcast as ad promos for the show, and on the show itself.
     In one ad, Riccio claims, "McGraw state, 'O.J. Simpson - What Really Happened in That Hotel Room?' Then, a shot of Plaintiff is shown looking concerned as McGraw asks him, 'Are you trying to cash in on this? - Didn't you sell the tapes for over $200,000 dollars?' Then, a response from a different question is spliced in where Plaintiff is shown saying, 'That's just the reality of it.' Finally, a cut to McGraw is shown responding to another statement with 'That just seems slimy to me.'
     "This splicing in answers to different questions implies that Plaintiff is agreeing with McGraw's statements which he never does in the interview."
     Riccio claims this type of deceptive editing and splicing occurred repeatedly in the broadcast.
He demands punitive damages for defamation and fraud. He is represented by Stanley Lieber of Woodland Hills.