February 13, 2007 / 1:21 AM / in 11 years

Fight over O.J. Simpson's money goes to Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Attorneys for the father of murder victim Ron Goldman subpoenaed several Hollywood industry groups on Monday, seeking money O.J. Simpson was paid for TV appearances and work in such movies as “Naked Gun 33 and 1/3” and “The Towering Inferno.”

Lawyers for Fred Goldman believe that Simpson has diverted the residual payments to avoid a $33.5 million judgment won in 1997 by the families of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

“We’re going to burrow to the center of the earth to find Simpson’s assets,” Goldman lawyer David Cook said. “These subpoenas today seek to uncover and unearth Simpson’s catalog or portfolio of movie residuals.”

The former football star turned actor and TV pitchman was acquitted of the June 12, 1994, murders but a civil court jury found him liable for their deaths and ordered him to pay the $33.5 million in damages.

Simpson has paid little of that judgment but in recent months lawyers for Goldman have aggressively pursued his film and TV earnings as well as a reported $1 million advance he was paid for an aborted book about the murders, “If I Did It.”

The subpoenas demand records kept by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Producers Guild of America and the American Federation of Television Radio Artists (AFTRA), which Goldman’s lawyers believe will show how much Simpson has been paid and where the money has gone.

“There is a rational belief that these monies have either been diverted, assigned or payable to someone other than Simpson,” Cook said.

Representatives for SAG and AFTRA said they could not comment on the subpoenas without having seen them. A spokesman for the Producer’s Guild declined to comment. Simpson’s attorney could not immediately be reached.

In January, a Los Angeles judge barred Simpson from spending royalties or otherwise moving funds from any past movie, TV, book or magazine deals pending a February 20 hearing.

Last week the judge applied the same order to the advance Simpson was paid for “If I Did It,” in which he muses over how he would have committed the murders. Goldman also filed a federal lawsuit over the book money, but it has since been dismissed.

“If I Did It” and an accompanying TV interview were both squelched by News Corp. media tycoon Rupert Murdoch after a torrent of public outrage. Publisher Judith Regan, who brokered the book deal and conducted the interview, was fired from her HarperCollins imprint, ReganBooks, about a month later.

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