SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ O.J. Simpson headed to the Dominican Republic on Sunday for a speedy marriage to model Paula Barbieri, according to a local newspaper.
In a front-page report, the Listin Diario newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying Simpson and Barbieri left Los Angeles on Saturday for Miami and were to fly on a private plane to the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
There was no confirmation of the report. Dominican immigration officials would not say whether Simpson had arrived or planned to arrive. Several Dominican airports and the U.S. Embassy also said they had no information about the reports.
The marriage rumors started surfacing in the Italian media Friday, just three days after a jury in Los Angeles acquitted Simpson in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, on June 12, 1994.
Listin Diario is the newspaper that broke the news of Michael Jackson’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic last year. The country offers speedy marriages that require only one witness and a brief ceremony in front of a judge.
Listin Diario said its sources indicated Simpson, 48, and Barbieri, a 28-year-old model and actress, left Los Angeles for Miami on Saturday. It said they were accompanied by Simpson’s lawyer F. Lee Bailey and friends Al ``A.C.″ Cowlings and Roger King.
The report said the entourage was expected to fly to an airport in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. That was believed to be La Romana International Airport at the Casa de Campo luxury resort, the same one used by Jackson.
Then, the newspaper said, the couple were expected to go to the country home of a friend in the interior of the island. Two sources reached by The Associated Press said that could be the home of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jose Rijo.
On Friday, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Barbieri and Simpson wanted to marry ``soon,″ according to Barbieri’s brother, Michael, and that the plan angered her father. The Rome daily said Vincent Barbieri always opposed such a marriage and now says, ``I don’t have a daughter any more.″
Simpson began seeing Barbieri in 1992 after he separated from his wife. The Simpsons divorced in Dec. 1992. At one point, Simpson and Barbieri broke up for several months and the former football hero tried to reconcile with Nicole. That effort failed and Simpson and Barbieri resumed their relationship.