A Los Angeles judge clamped down on O.J. Simpson’s spending on Friday, some two weeks after another judge froze money the ex-football star earned from his aborted book and TV deal about the murders of his ex-wife and her friend.
Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg issued a limited restraining order prohibiting Simpson from spending royalties or otherwise maneuvering funds from any past deals, including media, books and magazines, until a hearing on February 20.
The order does not apply to the advance Simpson received for his quasi-confessional book "If I Did It."
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real temporarily froze that money following a separate lawsuit filed in December by the father of murder victim Ron Goldman.
The amount of the advance was never disclosed, but attorneys for Goldman’s father, Fred, have put it at around $1 million.
Simpson, who parlayed his fame as an athlete into a career as an actor and television pitchman, was acquitted of the June 12, 1994, murders of Goldman and his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.
A civil court jury found him liable for the deaths and in 1997 ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages to the murder victims’ families. But little of that judgment has been collected, and Simpson has vowed never to voluntarily pay the award.
"(Simpson) just refuses to come to grips with his financial responsibility," said attorney David Cook, who represents Fred Goldman. "It reaches the level of defiance."
Goldman’s attorneys say Simpson was paid the $1 million for "If I Did It" through a shell corporation, Lorraine Brooke Associates, which they say was created to avoid paying the judgment.
Simpson has said that he was paid much less than $1 million for the book and that he already used his earnings to pay bills. Rosenberg’s order, which stems from the original judgment, allows Simpson to continue paying necessary living expenses.
Controversy over the book, billed as Simpson’s hypothetical account of how he would have committed the murders, prompted News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch to scrap "If I Did It" and an accompanying Fox television special in November.
The Simpson book deal and television interview were brokered by maverick publisher Judith Regan, who was fired from her HarperCollins imprint, ReganBooks, about a month later amid accusations of anti-Semitism.
Lawyers for Goldman added publisher HarperCollins, a division of News Corp., to the federal lawsuit against Simpson on Tuesday.
O.J. Simpson is willing to give Fred Goldman "a percentage" of his future earnings if the victim’s dad will stop battling him in court over every cent he makes, Simpson’s lawyer said yesterday.
"Fred Goldman needs to get rid of the anger and deal with this as a business deal. Let’s talk hard dollars and percentages," said attorney Ronald Slates, who is defending Simpson against the Goldman family’s bid to seize his recent book-deal pay and future earnings.
"We are prepared to negotiate," said Slates, hinting that Simpson is weary of spending tens of thousands on legal fees to fend off the Goldmans’ claims.
But Fred Goldman won’t bargain.
"I should get over the anger? And forget his murdering client took the life of my son? He must be out of his damn mind," the father said.
"No way in hell I’d enter into a business arrangement that benefits him [Simpson]. He belongs on a gurney with a needle in his arm to end his life," Goldman said.
In Santa Monica Superior Court yesterday, Judge Gerald Rosenberg temporarily barred Simpson from hiding, transferring or liquidating any income he receives from past deals or contracts, pending the Feb. 20 hearing.