OJ Simpson wrongful death judgment: Legal bid for autograph profits rejected

Marc Cota-Robles Image
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Lawyers chase O.J. over $70M wrongful death judgment
The lawyer of Fred Goldman, whose son was killed along with O.J. Simpson's ex-wife, says Simpson owes the Goldmans millions from a wrongful death judgment.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- A judge has rejected a request to have O.J. Simpson turn over profits from autographs to satisfy a civil judgment for the deaths of Ron Goldman and Simpson's ex-wife.

Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg ruled Tuesday after the request was made by David Cook, an attorney for Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman.

The judge denied it on grounds that Fred Goldman can't identify who is paying Simpson.

In his request, Cook said Simpson owes the Goldmans more than $70 million from the 1997 wrongful death judgment and that the former football star should hand over future money he makes from celebrity appearances or autographs to satisfy the judgment in the wrongful deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson was acquitted of two counts of murder in the 1994 slayings, but a civil jury found him liable and ordered him to pay $33.5 million, which has more than doubled over two decades.

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Malcolm LaVergne, one of Simpson's lawyers, said his client signed autographs after his release from a Nevada prison in October to help legal bills in his unrelated armed robbery case.

Goldman and Cook have "attempted to drag Mr. Simpson into court every time they hear a rumor, see something on television, or read in an internet news posting, a mere vague allegation involving Mr. Simpson's commercial exploitation of himself," attorney Ronald Slates wrote in court papers on behalf of Simpson.

Goldman's father has hounded Simpson for years and Cook said the former football star has never willingly paid a cent of the court order.

"Mr. Simpson has sought to subvert this wrongful death judgment by his abject refusal to pay, much less accept personal responsibility," Cook said in court papers.

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While most of the court award has been unpaid, Fred Goldman has been able to seize some of the Pro Football Hall of Famer's assets, including video game royalties and the rights to the book "If I Did It," a ghostwritten account in which Simpson tells how he might have killed his ex-wife and Ron Goldman.

Goldman was also able to acquire memorabilia Simpson claimed he was trying to take back when he led five men, two with guns, into a Las Vegas casino hotel in September 2007 to confront two sports collectibles dealers.

Simpson, 70, served nine years in Nevada state prison for armed robbery and assault with a weapon in an ill-fated bid to retrieve memorabilia.

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USC's O.J. Simpson (32) is pictured in action against Northwestern at Evanston, Ill., Sept. 28, 1968.
AP Photo

The Associated Press contributed to this report.