O.J. Simpson Death Could Change Equation for Goldman, Brown Civil Suit Payouts

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The death of O.J. Simpson at 76 leaves the fate of his estate — whatever of that exists — in question.

The football great turned acquitted murderer said in recent years that he subsisted entirely off of his NFL and private pensions. Many of his most valuable possessions were seized following a 1997 civil trial that awarded $33.5 million to the families of Ron Goldman and Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, both brutally murdered outside her Brentwood apartment on June 12, 1994. The weapon, a knife, was never found.

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“It increases by 10 percent every year,” Fred Goldman, Ron’s father, told The Hollywood Reporter in 2022 of the civil trial amount awarded to the Goldmans. “It’s a ridiculous number, none of which has ever appeared. [Simpson] never paid one single penny. Anything that we were able to take was through our own efforts of taking things away from him.”

But with Simpson now dead, the story could change for the Goldmans and the Browns.

Whatever assets Simpson did have at the end of his life — and that includes real-estate holdings in Florida, a debtor-friendly state — will now be subject to a probate process in court.

If Simpson wrote a will leaving his belongings to his four children — Arnelle, 55, and Jason, 54, with his first wife, Marguerite, and Sydney, 35, and Justin, 33, with Nicole — it would first have to wind its way through the probate process, which would also consider any outstanding debts Simpson left behind.

The case will be filed in Nevada, where Simpson died. Separate cases could emerge in California and Florida, depending on the extent of his assets in those states. The millions owed to the Goldmans and Browns have a judgment lien and are deemed “secured debt” — meaning they get paid before creditors with unsecured debt.

While Simpson likely did everything he could to avoid paying either family anything, now an estate administrator will decide where the money goes. If Simpson left his assets to his children in a trust, that could protect them from creditors.

But, according to the Associated Press, “transfers of assets to others that are made to avoid creditors can be deemed fraudulent, and claimants like the Goldman and Brown families can file separate civil lawsuits that bring those assets into dispute.”

But the Goldmans are not holding their breath — and, ultimately, it’s not the money that motivates them.

“He had a team of attorneys that basically helped him hide assets,” Fred previously told THR. “When all is said and done, we received a court ruling that he was responsible for Ron’s and Nicole’s death, which was the ultimate important issue. The victims are always the important issue.”

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