LOS ANGELES -- The father of murder victim Ron Goldman asked
a court Tuesday to give him the publicity rights to the name, image
and likeness of O.J. Simpson, who has failed to pay a $33.5 million
judgment in a 1997 wrongful death lawsuit.
"He personally has never paid a dime on the judgment to
anyone," Fred Goldman said. "He has made it very clear over the
years that he has no intention of doing so."
The petition, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, asks
that Simpson's "right of publicity" be transferred to help pay
off the Goldman family's portion of the award, estimated at about
$20 million, plus interest.
A hearing on the petition was scheduled for Oct. 17.
Simpson, who lives in Florida, was acquitted after a criminal
trial of the June 12, 1994, slayings of his former wife, Nicole
Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, outside her Brentwood
home. No one else has been arrested.
The Goldman and Brown families later sued Simpson. A civil court
jury, using a lesser standard of proof than is required at a
criminal trial, found him liable for the killings in 1997.
Goldman continues to believe Simpson killed his son and said it
would be "poetic justice" to take away the fame Goldman believes
helped the football star prevail in the criminal case.
Simpson has avoided paying the civil judgment because his
National Football League pension and his Florida home cannot
legally be seized. However, Goldman's petition contends Simpson has
continued to earn money through appearances and autograph signings.
Goldman said he wants to take from Simpson "what we perceive is
probably the most important thing to him, and that's his ego, and
that's the opportunity to use his name and likeness to earn
Yale Galanter, Simpson's attorney, said he would review the
petition but had not found any legal precedent that gives a court
the authority to take publicity rights.
He also denied that Simpson had avoided paying the lawsuit
"It's not a question of intentionally trying to avoid
anything," he said. "O.J.'s life is very simply an open book.
There is no money."
He estimated that Simpson makes only a few thousand dollars from
Goldman said he did not know how much Simpson's publicity rights
might be worth or what he would do with them if he obtained them.
While publicity rights have been sold or transferred, the
petition to forcibly take them to satisfy a lawsuit award is an
untried legal maneuver, said Karl Manders, owner of Continental
Enterprises, an Indianapolis-based company that designs and
implements intellectual property protection programs. Manders said
he suggested the idea to Goldman.