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Monday, May 20, 2024
Law

O.J. Simpson Lawyer Says He Won’t Shield Estate From Goldman, Brown Families

  • The former running back claimed he mainly lived off his NFL and private pensions.
  • Simpson died last week without having paid most of the $33.5 million owed to both the Browns and Goldmans from a civil judgment after their deaths.
VJ Lovero-USA TODAY Sports

The executor of O.J. Simpson’s will has reversed course. 

After Simpson’s death last week, his longtime lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he hoped the family of Ron Goldman would “get zero, nothing” and would “do everything in my capacity as the executor or personal representative to try and ensure that.”

In 1997, the Goldman and Brown families won a $33.5 million judgment in a civil suit they had filed against Simpson after the deaths of Goldman and his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson had spent the last decades of his life largely avoiding paying the judgment, and it appeared his estate would continue along the same lines. But attorney Malcolm LaVergne told The Hollywood Reporter Monday that he will now work with both families. 

“I can tell you in advance, Fred Goldman’s claim will be accepted. And his claim will be handled in accordance with Nevada law,” LaVergne said.

Simpson died of cancer last week at the age of 76. Nearly every obituary led with his 1995 trial for murder, where he was found not guilty in the 1994 killings of Goldman and his ex-wife, but his reputation was permanently stained. The ‘97 civil case found him liable for the death of Goldman, but he died having not paid the vast majority of the civil judgment awarded to the two families. With Simpson’s assets set to go through the probate process, the Simpson and Goldman families could be paid part of his assets.

LaVergne has represented Simpson since 2009 and said his original comments weren’t directed at the Goldman family, but at their representation. 

“Within an hour of knowing that O.J. died, he started talking s—. My advocate instinct is was, ‘Oh, you’re gonna keep s—ting on him even after he’s dead?'” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “‘Fine, you know? You get nothing.’ And so, those were my remarks then. But I backtracked, and they were pretty harsh remarks. And now I’m going in the other direction.”

Shortly after Simpson’s death, David Cook, an attorney who has worked with the Goldmans for more than a decade, told the Associated Press that “He died without penance. We don’t know what he has, where it is or who is in control. We will pick up where we are and keep going with it.” 

Simpson said he only lived off his private and NFL pensions, one of which is from the theScreen Actors Guild for his roles in such films as The Naked Gun. According to ESPN, the Goldman and Brown families should have equal footing compared to other creditors and could have a stronger claim as the estate gets settled through a trust that was established in January. Simpson’s will, which was released by local courts, lists his four children and notes any beneficiary who challenges the will “shall receive, free of trust, one dollar ($1.00) and no more in lieu of any claimed interest in this will or its assets.”

LaVergne told The Hollywood Reporter he will be “hypertransparent” and “show his homework” with the families as he tries to settle the estate. 

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