LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Television network NBC on Thursday dismissed speculation that O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife, would appear on an upcoming version of its reality TV program, "The Apprentice."
"NBC representatives have never considered O.J. Simpson for the next season of 'The Apprentice,' nor will," NBC spokesperson Amanda Ruisi said.
Media reports this week have speculated that business mogul Donald Trump, who is the show's host and executive producer, had been approached by Simpson to participate in a new season of the show in which contestants compete against each other in a series of business endeavors.
Ruisi said Trump and Simpson had spoken, but she did not know the outcome of the conversation. A spokeswoman for Trump said he was not considering Simpson, but she declined to provide further details.
Former football star Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 double murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, after a sensational trial that captured worldwide media attention. He was subsequently found liable for their deaths in a separate civil suit.
Simpson made headlines again last year when he was arrested for robbery and kidnapping charges in Las Vegas after he and a group of men stormed into a hotel room to retrieve football memorabilia he claims was stolen from him. He is still awaiting trial in that matter.
The "Apprentice" returned to television in recent months with a special edition called "The Celebrity Apprentice" in an effort to the improve its viewership. Early this year, NBC said the show will be coming back in January 2009.