Judge orders O.J. Simpson to stop spending

/ Source: Reuters

A Los Angeles judge clamped down on O.J. Simpson’s spending on Friday, some two weeks after another judge froze money the ex-football star earned from his aborted book and TV deal about the murders of his ex-wife and her friend.

Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg issued a limited restraining order prohibiting Simpson from spending royalties or otherwise maneuvering funds from any past deals, including media, books and magazines, until a hearing on Feb. 20.

The order does not apply to the advance Simpson received for his quasi-confessional book “If I Did It.”

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real temporarily froze that money following a separate lawsuit filed in December by the father of murder victim Ron Goldman.

The amount of the advance was never disclosed, but attorneys for Goldman’s father, Fred, have put it at around $1 million.

Simpson, who parlayed his fame as an athlete into a career as an actor and television pitchman, was acquitted of the June 12, 1994, murders of Goldman and his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

A civil court jury found him liable for the deaths and in 1997 ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages to the murder victims’ families. But little of that judgment has been collected, and Simpson has vowed never to voluntarily pay the award.

“(Simpson) just refuses to come to grips with his financial responsibility,” said attorney David Cook, who represents Fred Goldman. “It reaches the level of defiance.”

Goldman’s attorneys say Simpson was paid the $1 million for “If I Did It” through a shell corporation, Lorraine Brooke Associates, which they say was created to avoid paying the judgment.

Simpson has said that he was paid much less than $1 million for the book and that he already used his earnings to pay bills. Rosenberg’s order, which stems from the original judgment, allows Simpson to continue paying necessary living expenses.

Controversy over the book, billed as Simpson’s hypothetical account of how he would have committed the murders, prompted News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch to scrap “If I Did It” and an accompanying Fox television special in November.

The Simpson book deal and television interview were brokered by maverick publisher Judith Regan, who was fired from her HarperCollins imprint, ReganBooks, about a month later amid accusations of anti-Semitism.

Lawyers for Goldman added publisher HarperCollins, a division of News Corp., to the federal lawsuit against Simpson on Tuesday.