June 19, 1997 in Nation/World

Heisman Turned In, Fanning Brown-Goldman Flare-Up

Los Angeles Times
 

It’s back.

But where it’s been remains a mystery.

O.J. Simpson’s elusive Heisman Trophy - one of the biggest-ticket items missing from Simpson’s Brentwood home when sheriff’s deputies seized his belongings to satisfy a civil judgment - was delivered on Wednesday to the Beverly Hills courthouse by a member of the legal team representing Nicole Brown Simpson’s estate.

An employee of estate attorney Ira Friedman turned the trophy over about 10 a.m. to sheriff’s deputies who staff the courthouse, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Attorneys for the Brown family would not comment on the matter, other than to release a statement confirming that the Heisman “very recently came into the possession of one of the estate’s attorneys, who promptly turned it over to the sheriff.”

Attorneys for Fred Goldman, the father of murder victim Ronald Lyle Goldman, said the sudden appearance of the trophy supports their contention that Simpson is improperly working with the Brown family to shield his assets from the Goldmans. Any money paid to satisfy the Browns’ judgment against Simpson ultimately goes to Simpson’s two children with Nicole Brown Simpson, the beneficiaries of their mother’s estate.

“It basically again confirms that the Browns and Simpson are colluding to get a step ahead of Goldman and that they’re trying to get everything for themselves,” said Goldman attorney Peter Csato.

A civil court jury in February found Simpson liable for the June 12, 1994, deaths of Ronald Lyle Goldman and Simpson’s ex-wife and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages. Simpson was acquitted on murder charges in a 1995 criminal trial.

In an attempt to begin collecting the civil court judgment, sheriff’s deputies in March seized a truckful of Simpson’s possessions, including 51 golf clubs, dozens of pieces of art, furniture, crystal and football memorabilia.

But numerous items were missing, including the Heisman Trophy Simpson won as the top collegiate football player in 1968, his NFL Hall of Fame ring, an Andy Warhol serigraph portrait of Simpson and several pieces of jewelry.

The Heisman has been the most sought-after item, both for its assessed value of $400,000 and its personal value to Simpson, who rose to prominence while playing for the University of Southern California.

Lawyers working to collect the debt against Simpson said last week that the $25,000 a month Simpson collects from his pension account might be untouchable by the Goldmans and the Browns, making the proceeds from the sale of Simpson’s possessions all the more important.

In court Monday, Superior Court Judge Irving Shimer rejected Simpson’s attempts to shield many of those possessions by claiming they are ordinary, necessary personal property.


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