OJ Simpson has been cremated, says lawyer handling his estate

17 April 2024, 20:54

OJ Simpson in 1994
OJ Simpson Estate Las Vegas. Picture: PA

Simpson was famously acquitted of criminal charges alleging he stabbed his ex-wife and her friend, Ronald Goldman, to death in 1994 in Los Angeles.

Former American football star and celebrity criminal defendant OJ Simpson has been cremated, the lawyer handling his estate said.

Simpson died last week at home in Las Vegas at the age of 76.

Lawyer Malcolm LaVergne told The Associated Press he was present, along with unspecified other people, for the morning event at Palm Mortuary in central Las Vegas.

OJ Simpson in 2013
OJ Simpson in 2013 (Ethan Miller, Pool/AP)

“I am able to verify that OJ Simpson was cremated today,” Mr LaVergne said shortly afterwards.

“Others were present, but I’m not disclosing who.”

He declined to provide details of the process.

Mr LaVergne is handling Simpson’s trust and estate in Nevada state court.

He said Simpson’s cremains will be given to Simpson’s children “to do with as they please, according to the wishes of their father”.

No public memorial was planned, the lawyer said.

Simpson died on April 10 after he was diagnosed last year with prostate cancer.

Mr LaVergne said in a Tuesday interview that he visited Simpson just before Easter at the country club home Simpson leased south west of the Las Vegas Strip, and described Simpson as “awake, alert and chilling” sitting on a couch, drinking a beer and “just catching up on the news”.

OJ Simpson in 2007
OJ Simpson in 2007 (John Locher/AP)

On April 5, a doctor told Mr LaVergne that Simpson was “transitioning”, as the lawyer described it, and by last week Simpson only had strength to ask for water and to choose to watch a TV golf tournament instead of a tennis match.

A post on April 11 from Simpson’s family on X, formerly Twitter, said Simpson “succumbed to his battle with cancer”.

It asked on their behalf for “privacy and grace”.

“You have to remember that they’ve shared OJ with the world their entire lives,” Mr LaVergne said on Tuesday of Simpson’s surviving adult children of his first marriage – Arnelle Simpson, now 55, and Jason Simpson, 53 – and the children Simpson had with ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson before she was killed in 1994: Sydney Simpson, 38, and Justin Simpson, 35.

“And they have the added burden that he is one of the most famous people on the planet, and who is polarising and who is surrounded by controversy.”

Simpson’s children are the only beneficiaries of his estate, Mr LaVergne said, adding he is now working to determine the value of Simpson’s assets.

He said on Tuesday that Simpson did not own a home in states where he had lived – including Nevada, California and Florida.

Simpson was a record-setting star during 11 years as a running back in the NFL and became a film actor, sportscaster and television advertising pitchman before he was famously acquitted of criminal charges alleging he stabbed his ex-wife and her friend, Ronald Goldman, to death in 1994 in Los Angeles.

Buffalo Bills running back OJ Simpson (32)  in October 1975
Buffalo Bills running back OJ Simpson (32) in October 1975 (AP Photo/File)

The proceedings in California in 1996 became known as the “trial of the century”.

Simpson was found liable for the deaths in 1997 by a separate California civil court jury and was ordered to pay the families of Simpson’s killed ex-wife and Mr Goldman 33.5 million dollars in compensation.

Mr LaVergne acknowledged Simpson died without paying the bulk of that judgment.

In Las Vegas, Simpson went to prison in 2008 for nine years after being found guilty of armed robbery in a 2007 encounter at a casino-hotel with two collectibles dealers.

He was released from prison in October 2017 and lived a golf-and-country club lifestyle in Las Vegas – sometimes offering social media posts about sports and golf.

His last message was on February 11, when the NFL championship Super Bowl was played in Las Vegas.

He did not attend the game.

Lawyer David Cook, representing the Goldman family, said on Tuesday he thought the civil judgment owed today, including unpaid interest, is more than 114 million dollars.

Mr LaVergne said he believed the amount was more than 200 million dollars, and that Simpson’s assets will not amount to that.

Mr LaVergne said he intends to invite representatives of the Goldman and Brown families to “view my homework” with the Simpson estate, “with the caveat that if they believe something else is out there … they’re going to have to use their own attorneys, their own resources, to try and chase down that pot of gold”.

By Press Association

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