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O.J. Simpson’s Death Reportedly Leaves Legacy of $100 Million Debt to Goldman Family

O.J. Simpson died on April 10 at the age of 76 from prostate cancer. There’s already discussions about his extensive financial debt to the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. Despite his acquittal in the infamous 1995 murder trial, the former football star was found liable in civil court for their deaths in 1997, resulting in a $33.5 million judgment. Now, that debt has risen to over $100 million due to accumulated interest, according to statements made by attorneys representing the Goldman family.

Photo Via Twitter/x @therealoj32

The Goldman family’s attorney, David Cook, has affirmed that they remain committed to pursuing any assets from Simpson’s estate to fulfill the outstanding debt.

“We have to start over here,” debt collection attorney David Cook told The Daily Mail. “We’re going to work on that. There might be something out there.”

He continued, “We’ve had this problem for a long long time. It could be in a trust, it could be probate. It could be all gone.”

Debt Collection

The legal pursuit for recompense has been going on the 1997 judgment, with the Goldman family employing various strategies to recover funds. Actions have included garnishing Simpson’s income and initiating lawsuits to seize earnings from TV appearances and book royalties.

In March 2021, a Nevada garnishment case stated that Simpson owed “$75,164,425.74,” The Daily Mail reported.

The Legal Battles of O.J.

Despite the financial repercussions of the civil judgment, Simpson avoided substantial payments through various legal maneuvers, including declaring bankruptcy in Florida in 2006. Assets like his NFL pension were shielded from debt collection. His NFL pension was estimated between $125,000 and $300,000 annually.

According to The Daily Mail, the last legal filings made by Goldman’s attorneys were in June 2022, claiming OJ still owed more than $96 million, and had paid just $133,000 since 1997.

Since their 1997 judgment for the 1994 murders, the Goldmans have garnished Simpson’s income and sued him several times.

The Estate Scrutiny

With Simpson’s death, attention has turned toward the examination of his estate, potentially involving probate proceedings in Nevada.

He also had $42,000 a year in Social Security.

O.J. And His Earnings

Simpson was one of the highest-paid running backs in NFL history during his pro football era.

Salary data isn’t readily available for his total NFL career. Player salaries from the 1960s and 1970s, when Simpson played, aren’t as comprehensively documented as they are today.

His signing bonus upon joining the Buffalo Bills in 1969, reportedly the largest in NFL history at the time. Simpson had an illustrious football career, highlighted by achievements such as winning the 1973 NFL MVP award, leading the league in rushing four times (including a remarkable 2,003 yards in a 14-game season in 1973), earning five All-Pro selections, and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Prior to turning pro, he was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 1968 while playing for the University of Southern California (USC).

While he was a high earner in the NFL, a bulk of his wealth came from movies and endorsement deals. His first endorsement deal was with General Motors in 1970, and he received $250,000 to appear in Chevrolet commercials, according to Sports Illustrated.

In 1974, he signed what is probably his most famous endorsement. It was with Hertz Corporation as part of a $12.6 million advertising campaign. Simpson told the New York Times the rental car company paid him “between $100,000 and $250,000” shortly after the deal was inked. The commercials of him sprinting through the airport, using his gridiron prowess, to pick up his rental car are part of advertising history.

Simpson was also the chief spokesperson for TreeSweet orange juice — a tie-in with his nickname “the Juice.” The five-year contract was over $1 million plus a percentage of sales, the New York Times reported. He was also the pitchman for Napa Naturals sports drinks, Schick razors, and Wilson Athletic Gear.

When O.J. Simpson divorced Nicole Brown Simpson, his second wife, in 1992, his net worth was estimated at $10 million, with an annual income of about $1 million, as revealed in divorce filings obtained by the Washington Post.

He was in various movies, including the “The Naked Gun” franchise.

On top of this, he earned a substantial sum from speaking engagements. He was paid $10,000 for speaking engagements in the years preceding his arrest on double murder charges, the Los Angeles Times reported.

At the time of his death, Simpson’s estimated net worth was $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. 

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