Although former football star and pitchman O.J. Simpson plans to return to the life he led before being sentenced to 33 years in prison nine years ago, he’ll never exist the way he did before the 1994 murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
That is because Simpson, although acquitted of double murder in 1995, is still branded a killer and was regarded as such when he was over-sentenced for armed robbery and kidnapping in 2008. And now that he’s free, the cacophony of struggles he avoided while on the inside are undoubtedly waiting for him, the biggest a $33.5 million wrongful death judgement he’s yet to pay.
According to reports, the damages have swelled to around $70 million because of interest, and the Goldman family is again coming to collect.
David Cook, the family’s lawyer, told CNN that he is “ready for round two” with Simpson, meaning his efforts to place liens on anything Simpson touches that could generate funds to pay his clients.
And it wouldn’t be the first time Simpson’s ability to make money was thwarted. In 2007, three judges blocked O.J. from spending cash he received from a TV series and a book he planned to release about the killings.
Fred Goldman, Ronald’s father, took matters further than that, obtaining the rights to that book, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer, in Simpson’s Florida bankruptcy case.
Simpson was granted some of his money, but nothing over and above general living expenses. That reduced his income sources to memorabilia sales, autographs, and personal appearances, all of which were centered on the murders. That isn’t expected to change. Simpson also receives a pension from the NFL and the Screen Actors Guild.
Simpson’s infamous Rockingham Avenue home was destroyed in 1998 along with any California welcome signs. Before his Nevada prison stint, he had been living in south Florida and is slated to return to serve his five years on parole. But, just as he wore out his west-coast welcome almost 20 years ago, the Sunshine State isn’t welcoming him with open arms. In fact, the Florida attorney general told media on Sunday she will do whatever it takes to ensure the fallen USC and Buffalo Bills star is well supervised.
“Other than his complete lack of remorse, he wants to come to Florida and golf all over our state, and I don’t want that to happen,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a New York Post report.
Bondi said she will see to it that Simpson abides by travel restrictions and communicates with his parole officer in person–not by mail. In a letter to the parole board, she addressed several other concerns she had with accepting O.J. Simpson, calling him a scofflaw with no respect “to the heinous acts for which he has been found civilly liable.”
And while he’s not legally a murderer, Simpson’s civil trial will always be the jolting cajolement that there is one person responsible for nearly decapitating the mother of two of his children and fatally piercing her friend’s lung and jugular vein.
“If O.J. Simpson didn’t kill Nicole and Ron, who did?” is a more than appropriate question, one as glaring as the disastrous criminal trial put on by Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, and Lance Ito’s juridical catastrophe. The result sent Simpson back into the world that once embraced him but soon after slammed the door in his face.
Sure, Simpson will always have a place in the hearts of those who enjoy being conned. And people love being fooled, evident by those who spend millions to see the Bearded Woman under a circus tent and a death-defying leap off of WWE turnbuckles. They know the beard is fake and the match rigged. But they keep coming back.
But, they, like O.J., can always rest on their illusions.
[Featured Image by Nick UT/AP Images]