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O.J.’s executor walks back ‘harsh remark,’ says he will work with Goldmans

Updated April 16, 2024 - 6:58 pm

O.J. Simpson’s longtime lawyer and executor said he’s going back on previous comments about preventing Ron Goldman’s family from getting “zero, nothing” of Simpson’s estate.

“I’m walking back those remarks, and I will deal with Fred Goldman’s claim in accordance with Nevada law,” attorney Malcolm LaVergne told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday, referring to Ron Goldman’s father. “It was a harsh remark, and I’m walking them back.”

LaVergne, who had represented Simpson since 2009, was named the executor of the estate in Simpson’s will, which was filed in Clark County court on Friday. The will placed Simpson’s estate into a trust created in January.

LaVergne previously told the Review-Journal that he would fight to prevent the payout of a $33.5 million judgment awarded by a jury in 1997 to the families of Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

Due to interest that has accumulated over nearly three decades, Ron Goldman’s father is actually owed approximately $114 million, attorney David Cook, who represents Fred Goldman, said in a phone interview Monday.

Cook declined to say how much Goldman has previously received from Simpson. He also declined to comment on LaVergne’s previous remarks about fighting to prevent a payout to the Goldmans.

When asked about his reaction to Simpson’s death, Cook said that Simpson “died without penance.”

Simpson died at 76 due to prostate cancer, and his death was announced Thursday by his family in a post on X. He rose to fame as a football star, but then became known as the man accused of brutally killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in June 1994. He was acquitted of the murders in a monthslong, highly publicized Los Angeles trial.

He was later convicted of a 2007 robbery of sports memorabilia from a Palace Station hotel room. Simpson was sentenced to between nine and 33 years behind bars, and he was released from prison in 2017. He became a fixture in the Summerlin area and died at his home in Rhodes Ranch, LaVergne said.

LaVergne said Monday that he was speaking as Simpson’s longtime lawyer when he said he didn’t want the Goldmans to receive any money. Now, LaVergne said that he will willingly work with the Goldmans and Browns to determine their claims on Simpson’s estate.

“I’ve gone from one extreme to the other,” LaVergne said. “So it’s important for me now to be hyper transparent.”

Under Nevada law, Simpson’s estate will have to make other payments before awarding money to judgments. Payments such as administrative costs, funeral expenses and other debts will need to be handled first.

LaVergne said that “it’s unrealistic” to expect that the Goldmans will see the full payment for the civil judgment.

“Right now, we don’t have a lot of money in O.J.’s estate,” LaVergne said, adding that he has tallied one of Simpson’s bank accounts that is “less than five figures.”

Simpson also had a substantial debt to the IRS, which LaVergne said is now “under six figures.”

LaVergne has previously said that Simpson is set to be cremated. He confirmed Monday that Simpson’s brain will not be donated for scientific research, despite requests to study it for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease known as CTE that is associated with repeated head injuries.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com.

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