OJ Simpson executor vows to ensure Ron Goldman’s family get ‘nothing’ from his estate

Attorney Malcolm LaVergn pledges to honour late client by continuing to fight the 1997 judgement against the notorious celebrity after he was found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend

Joe Sommerlad
Monday 15 April 2024 17:42 BST
OJ Simpson dies of cancer at age 76

Malcolm LaVergn, the executor of the estate of the late OJ Simpson, has vowed to prevent the payout of a $33.5m judgement to the families of his client’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, saying that he hopes to ensure that Goldman’s family, in particular, “get nothing”.

Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mr LaVergn, who represented Simpson for the last 15 years of his life, said: “It’s my hope that the Goldmans get zero, nothing.

“Them specifically. And I will do everything in my capacity as the executor or personal representative to try and ensure that they get nothing.”

Simpson, 76 – a star NFL running back turned actor who became notorious after being accused of the brutal murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman in Brentwood, California, on 12 June 1994, a crime for which he was finally acquitted on 3 October 1995 after a sensational and drawn-out trial – died last week from prostate cancer.

After his acquittal in “the trial of the century”, Simpson was eventually found liable for the deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman in a civil wrongful death lawsuit in February 1997 and ordered to make the huge damages payout to their families but never did so, with the Goldman estate reportedly receiving only $123,000 to date.

Simpson’s death was announced last Thursday, a day after he passed away in hospice care at his home in Rhodes Ranch in southwestern Las Vegas Valley, Nevada.

His last will and testament emerged a day later, which named Mr LaVergn as his executor and placed all of the deceased’s property in a trust created for that purpose in January.

The attorney told the Review-Journal that Simpson had first been diagnosed with cancer “several years ago” and that it had gone into remission before returning, and that the extent of his client’s estate had yet to be tallied, declining to speculate as to its full value.

Simpson appeared to struggle in the wake of his trial and ran into further trouble in 2007 when he was arrested and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping over an incident arising from the proposed sale of some of his sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel room.

He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment with a minimum of nine years without parole.

OJ Simpson’s original mugshot as he was booked for murder on 17 June 1994 (Los Angeles Police Department/AFP)

Simpson served his sentence at Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Center before being paroled in 2017 and granted an early discharge in 2021.

“I am flummoxed as to why he would name me as the personal representative or the executor, but he did,” Mr LaVergn said of the will. “And it’s something I’m going to take very seriously.”

The attorney said that he holds particular resentment towards the Goldman family on his client’s behalf after they fought to acquire the rights to the manuscript of Simpson’s unpublished, ghostwritten memoir If I Did It and eventually released it under the new title If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer in 2007, with the first word deliberately scaled down into a tiny font size on the front cover.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent last week in response to Simpson’s death, Ron Goldman’s father Fred said: “The only thing I have to say is that today is just a further reminder of how long my son has been gone.

“And how many years, and how much he’s been missed. And the only thing that is important today are the victims. Nothing else is important today.”

Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were murdered in June 1994 (AFP/Getty)

Mr Goldman’s lawyer, David Cook, was more bullish, however, saying of Simpson: “He died without penance. We don’t know what he has, where it is, or who is in control. We will pick up where we are and keep going with it.

“The first [step] is to unearth the records and testimony of the family members to ensure that the source of the equity to acquire the real property is free of any taint.

He continued: “Simpson had assets coming in, we know that. There could well be money coming in from the football people; maybe there’s significant amounts in pension.

“Is there money to be had? Hopefully. Do I know exactly what it is? No, but we’ll figure that out soon. Ron Goldman is gone, murdered. We have to fight on for him.”

Mr LaVergn said that Simpson’s will stipulated that the attorney should erect a “suitable monument” for his client’s grave and stressed that “this will be administered as set forth herein without litigation or dispute of any kind” and that any beneficiary, heir “or any other person” who sought to establish a claim on it or otherwise challenge it “shall receive, free of trust, one dollar and no more in lieu of any claimed interest in this will or its assets”.

Simpson will be cremated in the coming days, according to his executor.

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