O.J.'s daughter must testify in book lawsuit
The Associated Press
MIAMI - A federal bankruptcy judge ordered O.J. Simpson’s daughter Tuesday to give a deposition by week’s end in a lawsuit about the former football star’s canceled book, “If I Did It.”
A judge already ordered the bankrupt company owned by Simpson’s children to turn over any copies of the book in which the former NFL star explains how he might have committed the killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
Simpson, who has maintained his innocence, was acquitted in 1995 of criminal charges in the deaths.
Goldman’s family wants to rename the book “Confessions of a Double Murderer” and sell it to collect part of the $33.5 million they won nearly a decade after a civil jury found Simpson liable for Goldman’s death.
But the Goldmans’ case has been snarled with canceled depositions and other hurdles.
Goldman attorneys have given up trying to depose O.J. Simpson after he canceled at the last minute two weeks ago. Goldman attorney Paul Battista said the Simpsons have failed to comply with court orders, including turning over copies of the book.
“They simply don’t want to play by the rules,” Battista said. “I’ve never seen as much contempt of court as I’ve seen in this case with the debtor.”
Simpson’s oldest daughter, Arnelle, is named as the head of Lorraine Brooke Associates, which owns the book’s rights.
Arnelle Simpson’s attorney, Kendrick Whittle, said his client does not have copies of the book. He said Goldman family attorneys were present when a trustee took her deposition and she should not be forced to “sit there and explain her life story in front of a camera,” again.
But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol ordered Arnelle Simpson and an attorney for her father to give depositions by Friday, when a hearing is supposed to start.
The attorney, Leonardo Starke, is believed to be holding about $3,500 for Simpson in a client trust account in Florida, where the former NFL star lives.
HarperCollins planned to publish the book but canceled the deal following public outrage.
Lorraine Brooke, which struck a deal with HarperCollins to be included in an auction for the book’s rights, then filed for bankruptcy, putting the sale on hold. Arnelle Simpson sought to reorganize Lorraine Brooke, which would have allowed her to maintain temporary control over it, but Cristol ruled the company should be liquidated. He decided an independent trustee would control it.