Simp­son’s le­gal neme­sis won’t rest in push to pun­ish

Gold­man and lawyers will not rest un­til jus­tice is served

The Covington News - - SPORTS - By John Rogers

LOS AN­GE­LES— No mat­ter how O.J. Simp­son’s hotel­room rob­bery trial plays out, he can plan on see­ing Fred Gold­man’s lawyers in court again.

A tac­i­turn 66-year-old whose gray hair and han­dle­bar mus­tache have made him familiar to fol­low­ers of the Simp­son saga, Gold­man speaks force­fully but rarely an­grily when he talks of hound­ing the for­mer foot­ball star he be­lieves stabbed his son, Ron Gold­man, and Simp­son’s ex-wife to death in 1994.

“Our in­tent is to con­tinue to pur­sue him, to con­tinue to hold him ac­count­able and re­spon­si­ble for Ron’s mur­der,” he said dur­ing a re­cent phone in­ter­view 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.”

Al­though the dis­cus­sion is all about Simp­son, Gold­man never men­tions him by name, choos­ing words like “mon­ster,” ‘’killer” and “trash.”

Simp­son was ac­quit­ted of mur­der­ing Ron Gold­man and Ni­cole Brown Simp­son in one of the most di­vi­sive ver­dicts in U.S. his­tory. But Gold­man and Brown’s fam­ily sued him for wrong­ful death, and Gold­man won the lion’s share of a $33.5 mil­lion judg­ment.

When Simp­son pleaded poverty, Gold­man went af­ter ev­ery as­set he had but lost round af­ter round of the le­gal fight. The award was tied up through sev­eral years of ap­peals and Simp­son hid his earn­ings through sham cor­po­ra­tions, Gold­man said.

In a typ­i­cal set­back, Gold-

man 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.

There were small vic­to­ries along the way, in­clud­ing 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.”

In all, he es­ti­mates he’s net­ted maybe $5,000 af­ter ex­penses.

But ear­lier this year Gold­man hit the jack­pot. He won the rights to Simp­son’s book, “If I Did It,” an os­ten­si­bly fic­tional ac­count of how he would have com­mit­ted the mur­ders. Reti­tled by Gold­man “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.

When news broke that Simp­son was in trou­ble in Las Ve­gas for a Sept. 13 armed heist of sports mem­o­ra­bilia he claimed had been stolen from him, Gold­man’s lawyers were back in court 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 ad­mit­ted he did find some­thing to smile about in Simp­son’s latest ar­rest, ex­press­ing in­credulity that he would have burst into a ho­tel room in­stead of sim­ply call­ing the po­lice.

Oc­ca­sion­ally, he ac­knowl­edged, peo­ple will tell him it’s time to let the past go and get on with his life. He can’t do that. “My son on the night of June 12, 1994, made a choice to stand and fight and didn’t run away. And we’re not go­ing to run away,” Gold­man said. “It wouldn’t serve to honor Ron’s me­mory to walk away and pre­tend like it never hap­pened.”

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