SANTA MONICA, California – A judge on Tuesday ordered that O.J. Simpson's income from past work in movies, television and commercials go directly to the family of murder victim Ron Goldman, but he rejected the family's bid to collect Simpson's earnings on future projects.
Simpson was acquitted in October 1995 of murder charges in the June 12, 1994, slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman, but a civil court jury later held him liable for the killings in a wrongful death lawsuit and ordered him to pay $33.5 million (euro25.5 million). Most of that debt remains unpaid.
Lawyers for both sides portrayed Tuesday's ruling on royalties or other earnings by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg as a victory.
Simpson attorney Yale Galanter said royalties Simpson he receives from past work for films such as the "Naked Gun" movies and the TV show "1st and Ten" amount to almost nothing.
"Last year Simpson's royalty checks from all of his movies were less than 39 cents," Galanter said.
"They got kicked to the curb again," he added. "Every door they're banging on gets slammed."
However, Goldman attorney David J. Cook said the ruling on past royalties was a step in the right direction, indicating the family would seek to determine what Simpson's royalties really amount to.
"We presume there is money and we're not going to take their word for it," Cook said.
Rosenberg deferred ruling on a third request by the Goldmans, to collect any advance money Simpson may have received for the book and TV show "If I Did It." He scheduled a hearing on the matter for March 13.
The "If I Did It" project, in which Simpson was to explain how he might have committed the killings, was abandoned amid public outrage. Simpson, who maintains his innocence, has said he took part in the project to secure his children's financial future and that his advance for the project has already been spent.