Lawyer Tells Us Goldman's Settlement Could Complicate O.J. Simpson's Estate

The late O.J. Simpson's net worth was at its highest in 1981 when it reached $38 million, per The Independent. But at the time of his death in April 2024, it had plummetted to just $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Despite his previous wealth, Simpson had long evaded paying the substantial financial judgment owed to Ron Goldman's family. And now, as Arash Sadat, a partner at the Los Angeles-based firm of Mills Sadat Dowlat LLP, exclusively told Nicki Swift, Simpson's remaining assets could be at risk. 

While the former athlete was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in what was infamously known as the "trial of the century," in 1995, a civil court later found Simpson liable for their deaths, ordering him to pay the victims' families $33.5 million. But in 2019, Kim Goldman, Ron's sister, informed The Los Angeles Times that their family had received less than 1% of what Simpson owed them. Two years later, court documents obtained by TMZ revealed that Simpson had only settled a little over $130,000 in total. 

What's more, David Cook, the lawyer for Ron Goldman's father, Fred, disclosed to the Daily Mail that with accrued interest, the debt had surged to over $100 million. Amid Simpson's passing, Goldman's family is still adamant about pursuing what is owed to them. "We're going to work on that. There might be something out there," Cook stated. As Sadat pointed out, their efforts could potentially deplete Simpson's estate entirely. 

O.J. Simpson's kids may be left with nothing

The fate of O.J. Simpson's estate hinges on the executor, as litigator Arash Sadat exclusively briefed Nicki Swift. Should the Goldman family decide to pursue their unpaid civil judgment, they would need to initiate the process by filing "a petition in probate court or a notice of creditor claim." As he explained, "The Goldman family would inform the court that they have a civil judgment that hasn't been paid yet and it needs to be satisfied by the estate before any estate assets can go to O.J.'s heirs or beneficiaries." 

The executor has the authority to either accept or reject such declarations. If accepted, the estate must pay; however, a rejection allows them to escalate the issue. "The Goldmans can file an enforcement action to obtain a court order to satisfy the judgment and get the amount that's owed to them," Sadat clarified. Then again, "If the Goldmans' claim exceeds the value of the estate, they (and any other creditors) would get it all," leaving nothing for Simpson's five children. "Creditors get paid before heirs," he confirmed.

What's more, if it's discovered that Simpson attempted to dodge paying his dues by transferring ownership of his properties to his kids or any other parties, the Goldmans could challenge this too. "If O.J.'s kids did not pay fair value for the asset, then the Goldman family would be able to claim those are fraudulent transfers and say the real owner was O.J. all along and those assets should be included in the estate and paid to the Goldman family," Sadat noted.

The matter should be settled relatively quickly

After years of trying to collect from O.J. Simpson, the Goldman family's efforts may finally get results following his death. Arash Sadat exclusively detailed to Nicki Swift how this is likely because the executor of the estate now has different motivations since the person who potentially avoided settling their debts is gone, meaning there's less reason not to pay out — especially since it's not coming out of the executor's pocket. Sadat related it to his own experience from way back. "Years ago, I litigated a case that resulted in a $9 million jury award," he recalled. "The debtor appealed and tried to avoid paying, but after he died, the estate quickly cut a check for $12 million, which was the amount my clients were owed with interest."

In a statement to ET, Kim Goldman hinted that their family's quest for justice continues regardless of the controversial former NFL star's passing. "For three decades we tirelessly pursued justice for Ron and Nicole, and despite a civil judgment and his confession in 'If I Did It,' the hope for true accountability has ended," she asserted. "We will continue to advocate for the rights of all victims and survivors, ensuring our voices are heard both within and beyond the courtroom. And despite his death, the mission continues; there's always more to be done."