Goldman plans to keep shadowing Simpson


LOS ANGELES -- No matter how O.J. Simpson's current legal troubles play out, he can seemingly be assured of one thing: He'll see Fred Goldman's lawyers in court again. And, in all likelihood, again and again after that.

Since his son, Ron, was stabbed to death with Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, on June 12, 1994, Fred Goldman has remained almost as much a presence in Simpson's life as the former football star's shadow.

Don't expect that to change, Goldman says, whether Simpson goes to prison or remains a free man following his recent arrest in Las Vegas on armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

"Our intent is to continue to pursue him, to continue to hold him accountable and responsible for Ron's murder," Goldman said by phone from his daughter's home in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita. "And we're going to continue to do that until he's dead."

Goldman never mentioned Simpson by name, choosing words like "monster," "killer" and "trash."

When Simpson was acquitted of the murders, Goldman and Brown's family sued him for wrongful death and Goldman won the lion's share of a $33.5 million judgment.

After Simpson pleaded poverty, Goldman went after every asset he had. But it appeared to be a losing battle as he lost round after round. The award was tied up through several years of appeals, and Simpson hid his earnings through sham corporations, Goldman said.

Earlier this year, Goldman thought he had laid claim to an expensive Rolex watch, only to learn it was a Chinese knockoff worth so little the court made him give it back.

Small victories along the way included an auction of rugs, lamps, golf clubs, and Simpson's Heisman Trophy that raised an estimated $500,000. All of that, Goldman's lawyers said, went to cover legal expenses.

"We (also) took away his royalties from his B movies," Goldman said. "We've broken a small trust that he had. We've got a small bank account that he had."

Goldman estimates he's netted $5,000 after expenses.

But earlier this year Goldman won the rights to Simpson's book, "If I Did It," a supposedly fictional account of how the murders were committed. Retitled "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer," it quickly became a New York Times best-seller.

With a court having earmarked 90 percent of its royalties for Goldman, he could eventually win a substantial sum, although he says he hasn't seen any money yet.

With those victories, it might seem Goldman, 66, would be ready to move on.

"No," he said emphatically. "He ultimately got away with murder, and every day that I see or know of him walking around playing golf -- breathing -- is one day more that I know that Ron is gone."

When news broke that Simpson was in trouble in Las Vegas in a Sept. 13 casino-hotel heist of sports memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him, Goldman's lawyers were back in court.

They acted so fast that Goldman obtained an order to get the items before Simpson was arrested. The items, including photos, footballs and jerseys, could fetch tens of thousands of dollars if they are found to belong to Simpson.

Goldman's $19 million share of the judgment has risen to approximately $39 million with interest, but he knows it's unlikely he'll ever collect more than a fraction, no matter how many court battles he wins.

He plans to donate a portion of the book's proceeds to the Ron Goldman Foundation for Criminal Justice that he and his daughter recently established. They hope it can help families of crime victims.

Goldman has taken some criticism for publishing the book, which he originally denounced. Oprah Winfrey told him she wouldn't buy it and asked if he was making "blood money" off its sale. Nicole Brown Simpson's sister, Denise Brown, was also fiercely critical.

"I wish that her vigor against this book would be placed at the person that caused all this, and that is the murderer," Goldman said of Brown's criticism.

Goldman laughed when asked if he is retired yet. He handles mortgages and is employed part-time at a retail store near his home in the Phoenix area, and he says he can't afford to retire.

Goldman expressed incredulity that Simpson would have burst into a hotel room instead of simply calling the police.

His daughter, Kim, says she was even more amused.

"Then the anxiety set in," she said, as she realized she might have to relive some of the events of 13 years ago.

She broke down in sobs when jurors in the criminal trial announced their verdict on Oct. 3, 1995.

 

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