OJ Simpson Memorabilia
Nick Ut  /  AP
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy arranges footballs seized during a hotel heist that landed O.J. Simpson in prison, during a hearing Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., to consider ownership of the confiscated items.
updated 8/18/2009 8:32:54 PM ET 2009-08-19T00:32:54

A California judge ordered some memorabilia returned to O.J. Simpson Tuesday, even as the football Hall of Famer sits in a Nevada prison for stealing it during a hotel room heist.

In a ruling that capped more than a year of legal wrangling, Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg on Tuesday gave nine souvenir footballs and a few other items to a lawyer for Simpson nemesis Fred Goldman for auction. Goldman is trying to collect on a $33.5 million civil judgment against Simpson.

But in another odd twist, the judge said Simpson must get the first $6,075 from the auction.

Rosenberg said it was possible that figure would not be reached, and then Goldman would get nothing.

The most satisfied litigant was memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong, who was able to reclaim about 600 photographs and several books that he said were taken from him during the Las Vegas hotel room confrontation on Sept. 13, 2007.

During his trial, Simpson called it a sting operation designed to recover his memorabilia, which he said had been stolen from him.

Another of the participants in the dispute was Simpson's former manager Mike Gilbert, who asked for nothing at the hearing and received nothing.

Outside of court, Gilbert grumbled, "I think America is tired of O.J. Simpson, tired of Fred Goldman and tired of me. I just want it over."

O.J. gets some souvenir footballs
Because of the hotel room standoff, Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years for convictions on armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges. He has applied for release on bond while he appeals.

Rosenberg had all of the items seized from the hotel room brought to his courtroom in cartons, which he opened and displayed. Among the items returned to Simpson were framed awards, a signed photo of him and others with former FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover and three neckties that he wore at his murder trial. Simpson also received a few souvenir footballs.

One of the men who was in the hotel room, Alfred Beardsley, was given back only the baseball hat he wore the night of the heist. He proudly put it on.

Attorney David Cook, representing Goldman, received nine game balls and two pillow cases from the hotel room, for the auction.

Beardsley, who took up Simpson's cause after he blew the whistle on him, said outside court: "I'm happy and excited for O.J., that he'll be getting some of his stuff back."

More on: O.J. Simpson

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