SANTA MONICA (CBSLA/AP) — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Tuesday morning denied a motion from a lawyer for the family of Fred Goldman that O.J. Simpson hand over any future earnings on autographs and celebrity appearances towards satisfying the $70 million he owes in a wrongful death lawsuit in which Simpson was found liable in the 1994 murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.
Attorney David Cook argued that O.J. Simpson is cashing in on autographs since his release from prison and should pay the money toward the wrongful death judgment. The judge disagreed, ruling that the court needs to know who purchased memorabilia from Simpson before the Goldman family can receive any compensation.
“The court declined my relief, indicating that if I wanted to seek sports memorabilia money by this legal process, I have to identify the person who’s paying it,” Cook told reporters outside the Santa Monica courthouse. “In other words, who’s actually buying this sports memorabilia?… So, as a result, the court said ‘well, I’m not going to grant this until you tell me who’s writing the check.’”
Simpson’s attorney, Ron Slates, called the ruling a victory, claiming his client has made several monetary offers to the Goldmans.
“There have been numerous other offers made in the millions of dollars,” Slates said. “Every single one of them we’ve been told, ‘I won’t do business with Mr. Simpson,’ and we hear the same story.”
Attorneys for both sides told CBS2 that Simpson has paid some money towards the judgement, but did not specify how much.
Simpson was acquitted of two counts of murder in the 1994 slayings, but a civil court jury found him liable and ordered him to pay $33.5 million, which has more than doubled over two decades.
Goldman’s father, Fred, 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.
Simpson sold autographs shortly after his release from a Nevada prison in October to pay legal bills and has no interest in signing memorabilia, one of his lawyers, Malcolm LaVergne, said in court papers objecting to any order relinquishing his right to publicity.
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.
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.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)