IF THE prosecutors' version of a reported armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino proves to be true, former football great - and world-class narcissist - O.J. Simpson can kiss his fragile freedom good-bye.
Mr. Simpson, almost everyone remembers, was charged with the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, but he was acquitted by a jury after a highly sensationalized and exceptionally bizarre trial.
While he steadfastly maintained his innocence, he was deemed guilty in the court of public opinion and lost a subsequent civil lawsuit blaming him for the murders.
Refusing to exit the public eye quietly, Mr. Simpson first vowed to spend every day of the rest of his life searching for the "real killer." Like, the rest of the American public, we're still waiting for results.
More recently, he tried to publish an account of the brutal killings, teasingly titled If I Did It. But a public outcry prompted cancellation of the book, which was repackaged under the less-ambiguous, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer, with all proceeds going to the Goldman family.
With all that notoriety, Mr. Simpson was perhaps the most-watched man in America, so it would seem logical that he would be careful to toe the legal line and never put himself even remotely in a position to be implicated in a crime. But everything in Mr. Simpson's world revolves around him.
So there he stands where he obviously wants to be: in the media spotlight, released on bail from the Clark County Detention Center, charged with a slew of felonies in connection with what authorities said was the storming of a room at the Palace Station Hotel by a group of men intent on retrieving Mr. Simpson's memorabilia at gunpoint.
To be fair, Mr. Simpson deserves the same presumption of innocence as any criminal suspect, despite an audio tape that seems to leave little doubt about his involvement.
Like a palsied tight-rope walker, Mr. Simpson, now 60, seems to be running out of second chances, and the outlook is not favorable for a star athlete who once was at the top of his game.
Although nobody can say what will happen in court this time, if it goes badly Mr. Simpson once again will have nobody to blame but himself.