Simpson's book rights to be auctioned off
EmptyA judge on Tuesday prevented O.J. Simpson from receiving any further compensation from a canceled book deal and TV interview, and ordered the bundled book rights to be auctioned off.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg ordered the auction for the rights to "If I Did It," in which the former NFL star was to explain how he might have committed the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The book and TV interview were never released, amid public outrage.
The proceeds from the auction and any subsequent book profits will be turned over to Goldman's family, which has been trying to collect a $33.5 million judgment from Simpson after he was found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. With interest, the judgment is estimated at $38 million.
"This is a guarantee that if they ever publish this thing, Mr. Simpson won't see a dime from it," Goldman family attorney Jonathan Polak said.
Simpson's attorneys called the judge's decision a "hollow victory" for the Goldman family.
"What they are seeking is whatever intangible property Mr. Simpson has relating to this book," Simpson attorney Yale Galanter said. "There isn't a book. There isn't anything."
News Corp. has said it paid $880,000 for the publishing rights, which expire in May. HarperCollins, a division of News Corp., struck the book deal with Lorraine Brooke Associates, a Florida-based company.
Late Tuesday, Rosenberg also ruled the rights of Lorraine Brooke Associates will be included in the auction, which will be held by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department since HarperCollins' California offices are located there.
No date for the auction has been set.
"The ability to publish the book, to market it and sell it is now going to be bundled up at the sheriff's sale," Polak said.
Fred Goldman had accused Simpson in a separate federal lawsuit of creating Lorraine Brooke Associates so he could hide money from the book and TV deal and not allow the Goldmans to seize the profits. The suit was dismissed and is under appeal.
Galanter said Tuesday that Lorraine Brooke Associates is owned by Simpson's four children.
Simpson, who was acquitted of double murder in 1995, has said that he spent the proceeds he received as part of the deal.
Goldman's sister, Kim Goldman, said her family recently collected $262 from one of Simpson's bank accounts.
"We are going to continue to plug away and try to achieve justice," she said outside of court.
Last month, Rosenberg also ordered that Simpson's income from past work in movies, television and commercials go to the Goldman family. Galanter said at the time that Simpson received less than 39 cents last year from royalty checks from all his movies.