Friday, February 15, 2008

Cindy Adams - New York Post - February 15, 2008 -- THOMAS Riccio I spent a day with when he hustled Anna Nicole's di aries. Thomas Riccio, celebrity mem orabilia-ist, has turned scurvy deals in his time. Thomas Riccio is a felon who's in the news for being OJ's wingman in that gun-heavy Vegas heist. Thomas Riccio will be the centerpiece in OJ's April trial. I've written steadily about Thomas Riccio of late. So this week, when a caller from the West Coast said, "It's Thomas Riccio," I tightened. Thomas Riccio didn't like roughing up. Didn't like the stuff I'd written.
"I got a beef," said the voice on the phone.
"But, Tom, you have a record. I only wrote the truth."
"Naaahhh, that doesn't bother me. The problem is you spell my name wrong. It's not 'Riggio.' It's R-I-C-C-I-O. Since that OJ bust, I'm all over the headlines. Everybody spells my name right but you. It's R-I-C-C-I-O."
Doing the quickest thing I could think of, I blamed my editor. "Maybe she changed it, Tom. She probably thought I was wrong. Must be her stupid fault."
"Yeah, well, have your paper get its act straight. It's R-I-C-C-I-O, not 'Riggio.' Friends in Jersey read you every day and say every time you mention me you spell my name wrong. That upsets them."
"So you're not bitching about how I handled you?"
"Naaaahh. I don't care. Publicity is publicity. Just spell the name right. R-I-C-C-I-O. It's got my friends upset."
RICCIO's exposed the world of collectibles in "Busted," a Phoenix Book dealing with stolen goods, prison, escape, parole, the shady life. "The original title was 'Why I Did It,' but the publisher Michael Viner changed it because it could sound too much like that OJ thing, 'If I Did It.' The cover has two mug shots - mine and OJ's.
"Comes out April, but Vegas police want to subpoena it now before the defense sees it. I write A-to-Z things the cops know nothing about. Hey, I remember the day before OJ's arrest he called and said, 'Don't worry. Nobody's going to care about this story a week from now. This will all blow over . . . all be forgotten. . . . I got it all handled.'

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