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O.J. Simpson estate to battle US$33.5mil wrongful death award

Tan KW
Publish date: Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 04:36 PM
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LOS ANGELES: The executor of O.J. Simpson's estate will fight to stop families of the late NFL star's alleged murder victims from receiving funds from a US$33.5 million wrongful death judgment that found him liable for the killings, a report said Saturday.

Simpson, who died on Wednesday aged 76, was acquitted in 1995 of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in a court case dubbed "The Trial of the Century."

But a subsequent 1997 civil trial found Simpson liable for the brutal double-slaying and ordered the American football icon-turned-actor to pay US$33.5 million to the victims' families.

The father of Ron Goldman, Fred Goldman, waged a decades-long pursuit of Simpson in order to force him to make good on the settlement.

Simpson is believed, however, to have paid only a fraction of the 1997 figure, with a 2021 report stating that the Goldmans had received just under US$133,000.

Simpson's long-time lawyer Malcolm LaVergne told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Saturday that he was determined to ensure that the Goldman family not receive anything from Simpson's estate.

"It's my hope that the Goldmans get zero, nothing," LaVergne was quoted by the paper as saying. "Them specifically. And I will do everything in my capacity as the executor or personal representative to try and ensure that they get nothing."

LaVergne apparently was angered that the Goldmans at one point had gained control of the manuscript of Simpson's book "If I Did It," and retitled it, "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer."

The Review-Journal reported that LaVergne was named as executor of Simpson's estate in court documents filed Friday, a day after the alleged killer's family announced his death.

LaVergne could not immediately be reached for comment by AFP on Saturday.

LaVergne told the Review-Journal that the exact value of Simpson's estate was unclear.

"I can't make a predication right now as to what the value of the estate is," LaVergne said.

The lawyer said Simpson had first been diagnosed "several years ago" with prostate cancer, which went into remission before returning recently.

Fred Goldman on Thursday greeted news of Simpson's death as saying it was "no great loss."

"It's just a further reminder of Ron being gone all these years," he said.

Although Simpson escaped jail for the 1994 murders, he did serve nine years in prison for a bungled armed robbery in Las Vegas. A parole board in Nevada approved his release in 2017.

 - AFP

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