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

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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. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Pool, file)

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.

"You can't come in and say, 'I want all the money from this sports memorabilia. I don't care who give it to him, where, when, why, I want it all. That's not provided for in the statute," said Ron Slates, an attorney for Simpson.

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

"Who's writing the check? And since I couldn't identify who's writing the check, basically we've got to go home and do a lot more homework and find out who that person is. We think we can find out who that person is," Cook said.

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.

An attorney for Simpson said the money he made amounts to less than $8,000.

"Some money is better than no money. In this business, money is justice, and justice is money," Cook said.

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," 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. Still, Simpson's own attorney admits that Simpson has paid the Goldmans very little.

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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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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