The Globe’s March 6, 2001, cover
O.J. Simpson was arguably the breakout star of television last year.
The former running back was the subject of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson miniseries and ESPN’s five-part documentary O.J.: Made in America. The fifth episode of the ESPN documentary delved into Simpson’s sordid, seemingly shameless life after his acquittal for the murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown, and his subsequent 2007 arrest for an armed robbery in Las Vegas.
But the documentary left out one infamous episode that has all but disappeared from the official O.J. canon: that time he appeared in a sex tape.
Whether he did so knowingly is a matter of some dispute. In the past, Simpson and his lawyer have said that Simpson was set up, that he was filmed without his knowledge. But Danno Hanks, the private investigator who says he set up the hidden cameras for the shoot, says Simpson was in on it the whole time.
A 2002 L.A. Weekly cover story profiled Hanks and his late partner Fred “Mad Dog” Valis. The bullet points of Hanks’ career beggar belief. He’s a combat medic in the Marines who served in Vietnam, a convicted criminal, a bounty hunter, a professional informant and a private investigator. He and Valis spent five years undercover inside the Gambino crime family. Later, they worked for television tabloid shows such asA Current Affair and Hard Copy. More recently, Hanks pled guilty to extortion and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. He told L.A. Weekly that his sentence will begin next month.
Back in 2001, Hanks says he was asked to work on a pornographic film. The project, he says, was funded by a former mobster named Don…
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