Smithsonian turns down suit worn by Simpson


LOS ANGELES -- What O.J. Simpson wore when he was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife and her friend was the suit seen around the world during one of the most watched televised moments in history.

But the Smithsonian Institution, America's repository of historical artifacts, rejected it Tuesday as inappropriate for its collection.

Announcement of the museum's snub came the morning after a California judge approved the donation as the solution to a 13-year court battle over the carefully tailored tan suit, white shirt and yellow and tan tie. The ensemble has been held by Simpson's former sports agent, Mike Gilbert.

Fred Goldman, father of the man Simpson was accused of killing in 1994, had been fighting Gilbert for the suit, which Simpson has said was stolen from him.

The suit was indirectly responsible for Simpson's current predicament: The former NFL star is imprisoned in Nevada for a bungled effort in a Las Vegas hotel room to reclaim items of his memorabilia. Simpson had been told the suit was in the room and was being offered for sale, along with other artifacts of his life. It turned out the suit wasn't there.

Attorney David Cook, who represents Fred Goldman, said he was sure other institutions would want the suit.

"We're going to hang this suit in America's closet and there will be no lack of people who want it," Cook said. "It's a matter of finding the right fit."

He said he already has some ideas including two Washington, D.C., museums: the Newseum, which has a collection on historical news events, and the Museum of Crime and Punishment.

Gilbert, who was placed in charge of facilitating the donation, said he would consider new suggestions on where to donate the suit.

 

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