Judge rejects bid for Simpson earnings


SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- A Superior Court judge tentatively denied a request Tuesday by the father of murder victim Ron Goldman to take O.J. Simpson's earnings from everything from autograph signings to video games to satisfy a multimillion-dollar legal judgment awarded 11 years ago.

Judge Gerald Rosenberg gave Fred Goldman's lawyer, David Cook, one week to come up with a list of sports memorabilia items the former football star was accused of stealing last week from a Las Vegas hotel room.

Simpson was acquitted in of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Goldman, but a civil court jury found him liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million. The award remains largely unpaid.

In court in Santa Monica, Goldman attorney Cook accused Simpson of "sitting on a treasure trove of sports memorability" while ignoring the multimillion-dollar judgment.

But both Cook and Simpson lawyer Ronald Slates said they had no idea what the items were, and Slates argued that whether Simpson really owned any of them was unclear.

"I need to know more," the judge told Cook. He gave him a week to come up with a list of the memorabilia items Cook said he was sure he could obtain from Nevada authorities.

Cook also filed a new request to get Simpson's watch, which he described as a Rolex Submariner that he saw the former football star wearing in a photo featured on the celebrity Web site TMZ.com. Such watches sell for $5,000 or more, he said.

The judge told Cook it was his responsibility to obtain the watch and have it appraised, and he set an Oct. 16 hearing to determine whether the watch would be exempt from the judgment.

Cook argued Simpson was wealthy, citing a 2003 tax form indicating income of $400,000. He said Simpson has four pensions: three for his NFL, TV and movie work and a private stock account worth more than $2 million.

Slates said that money from the pension funds are exempt from the judgment and that Simpson has expenses for his three children.

"He has a right, like everybody else, to be protected (under the law)," Slates said.

He also said Simpson repeatedly has offered to settle the judgment with the Goldman family.

Cook replied it would be "a cold day in hell" when that would happen.

"It is inconceivable that the father of a murder victim would sit and haggle," Cook said.

 

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