Goldman awarded Simpson's Rolex
EmptyO.J. Simpson was minus one Rolex watch -- real or otherwise -- Tuesday after a judge ordered him to hand it and other assets over to the father of slaying victim Ron Goldman.
Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg also ordered the former football star to turn over any future royalties from a videogame in which he appears and any of the disputed memorabilia he can prove is his that Las Vegas police seized when they arrested him last month on robbery, kidnapping and other charges.
"O.J. Simpson is going to leave Las Vegas bust," attorney David Cook, who represents Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, said minutes after Rosenberg issued his ruling.
Cook confirmed later that the watch was turned over by Simpson attorney Ronald Slates.
In an interview, Slates questioned whether it was a real Rolex.
"Know any Rolex watches that sell for 125 bucks?" Slates asked, adding that's what Simpson told him he paid for the timepiece. The lawyer acknowledged that if it is fake, however, "it's a pretty good copy."
Rosenberg's order specifies a "Submariner Rolex Watch" that was identified in a photograph.
Cook, who said he saw Simpson wearing the watch in a photo posted on the celebrity web site TMZ.com, estimated its value at $5,000 to $22,000 if it's real.
"Then there's always what we call the celebrity value," he said, adding the fact Simpson wore it could make it worth still more.
Attorneys for both sides agreed Simpson isn't in a position to hand over the sports memorabilia he said was stolen from him and that he had gone to retrieve when he and five other men allegedly burst into a Las Vegas hotel room last month and carried it away. The five are charged with multiple counts of kidnapping, robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that that which is in possession of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is not in the possession of O.J. Simpson," said Slates.
According to a police evidence report attached to Tuesday's court order, the items include a Giorgio Armani necktie, a baseball cap, numerous signed footballs from NFL games Simpson played in and autographed photos of Simpson in his football uniform.
Cook agreed the material can't be seized while authorities have it, but he added that if it is ever returned to Simpson he plans to take it.
The memorabilia, like the watch, would then be handed over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which would auction it and give the money to Fred Goldman.
"When you take the watch and you take the sports memorabilia, it's a drive toward monetary justice," Cook said. "This drive will continue because, unfortunately, monetary justice is the only justice we have available to us."
Simpson was acquitted in a criminal trial of the 1994 murders of Ron Goldman and Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson. After their families sued him for wrongful death, a civil court jury found him liable for the killings and ordered that he pay $33.5 million.
Although most of that award remains unpaid, Fred Goldman has begun to have some luck in seizing some of the Pro Football Hall of Famer's assets.
In addition to the watch, memorabilia and video game royalties, he recently won the rights to the book "If I Did It," a ghostwritten account in which Simpson tells how he might have killed his ex-wife and Ron Goldman. The book is currently on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.
"If justice is served in books, footballs, jerseys and ties, then that's the hand we were dealt and that's the hand we'll play," Cook said.