Convicted felon OJ Simpson is reportedly set for a role in an upcoming, unannounced Sacha Baron Cohen project after the pair met in a Las Vegas hotel. A source told the Daily Mail Simpson refused to take part until he was paid $20,000 (£14,300) up front.

The report (via Vanity Fair) states that Cohen wore a curly wig and thick glasses to the meeting, perhaps indicating it will be a mock interview similar to those that made Cohen famous with characters like Ali G and Borat.

"OJ would not even get in the hotel room until he was paid a sackload of cash," the Mail's source said. "There was no way Sacha could have got OJ into the room without paying money."

Simpson was released from prison on parole just four months ago, after serving nine years of a sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping.

Cohen's representatives did not respond to requests for comments. The Mail tracked down Simpson and asked about his relationship with Cohen. "I know him well. I met him," Simpson said. "Nice guy."

Simpson still owes millions to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. A judge ordered he pay them $33.5m after they won a civil suit brought against Simpson. He was previously trialled for the pair's murder and found not guilty.

A lawyer for the Goldman family told the New York Post: "If money changed hands then all of the money paid should go to Ron's father, Fred. There is a legal and moral imperative here.

"Paying money – cash no less– in secret to OJ Simpson is 100% unadulterated sleaze. This is nuts."

Brown's family was also disappointed by the news. Nicole's sister Tanya told the Mail: "Nicole and Ron are two human beings who were brutally murdered. This is not a joke, nor is it entertainment."

Nothing is known about Cohen's latest project. The provocative prankster made his name by tricking well-known celebrities with made-up, incompetent personas who would often poke fun at the interviewees.

Since Bruno, the last of his major creations to transition to the big screen, the comedian has starred in The Dictator, Hugo, Grimsby and Les Miserables.