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O.J. Simpson’s Estate: Not as Large as You Might Think

The recent revelations about O.J. Simpson’s estate shed light on its financial status and the challenges it faces, particularly in addressing the longstanding debt owed to the family of Ron Goldman. Despite earlier claims suggesting substantial assets, the executor of Simpson’s estate, Malcolm LaVergne, has clarified that the estate’s financial situation is far from well capitalized.

O.J. Simpson during The EGA & Citizen Change Present The EGA Celebrity Golf Tournament at Miami Beach Golf Club in Miami, Florida, United States. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Brand Seven Marketing)

What’s In The Will and Estate

In a recent interview with TMZ, LaVergne, who also served as Simpson’s longtime attorney, disclosed that the estate contained less than substantial amounts of money. Specifically, he mentioned that Simpson had less than five figures in a Nevada bank account and, overall, had less than seven figures to his name. LaVergne debunked reports suggesting Simpson earned $400,000 per year, clarifying that Simpson’s income primarily comprised Social Security, an NFL pension, and residuals from his acting career prior to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

The estate’s financial constraints are further complicated by its debts, particularly the longstanding $33 million wrongful death lawsuit judgment awarded to the families of Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. Over the years, with accumulated interest, this figure has burgeoned to well over $100 million. Despite earlier statements suggesting the Goldman family might receive nothing, LaVergne has since expressed willingness to meet with Fred Goldman, Ron’s father, and abide by legal obligations.

O.J. Simpson reportedly never voluntarily paid any of the $33.5 million in damages awarded against him after he was found liable in civil court for the 1994 slaying of his ex-wife and Goldman, according to the Goldman family. The former star running back and sports broadcaster was acquitted of the murders in a 1995 criminal trial but found liable for the deaths in a subsequent civil trial two years later. The civil jury awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages to the Goldman family and $12.5 million in punitive damages to each family, Forbes reported.

According to LaVergne, the estate will look for avenues to augment its bottom line, such as selling signed memorabilia. “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. Maybe some people will say, look, even though this means nothing to me … some guy who is fascinated with O.J. and has a lot of money will pay $50,000 for it,” he told TMZ.

The legal intricacies of Simpson’s estate are governed by Nevada law, dictating that expenses and debts, including the civil judgment, take precedence over distribution to heirs. The settlement of debts would most likely happen before any potential distribution to beneficiaries, namely Simpson’s adult children.

On top of this, Simpson had relocated to Florida, which offered certain legal protections against creditors.

Simpson’s will was submitted to the Clark County District Court in Nevada on April 12, 2024, subjecting it to the state’s laws. The will directs that after settling expenses, the remaining assets will be transferred into the Orenthal Simpson Revocable Living Trust. Both the will and revocable trust were executed in January of this year, a period that came after Simpson was diagnosed with cancer in 2023.

Ultimately, the fate of Simpson’s estate remains uncertain.

Simpson died from cancer at the age of 76 on April 10.

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