June 13, 2007

O.J. Simpson’s Daughter Told to Testify

A Miami federal judge on Tuesday ordered O.J. Simpson's oldest daughter to give a deposition in a lawsuit that accuses the former NFL star of trying to hide proceeds from his ill-fated book, If I Did It.

Arnelle Simpson, 38, head of the now bankrupt Lorraine Brooke Associates, must give testimony before a scheduled hearing on Friday in downtown Miami, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol said at a hearing Tuesday.

The judge threatened to take further action if Arnelle Simpson remains uncooperative to attorneys representing the family of Ronald Goldman, who was killed in 1994 along with O.J. Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. Simpson was acquitted of the murders following a jury trial in 1995.

"We are very pleased with the result today in court," said Miami attorney Paul Battista, who is helping the Goldmans secure control of the book, which was never published by HarperCollins following a public outcry.

In If I Did It, Simpson was to hypothetically explain how he would have committed the killings of his ex-wife and Goldman.

The Goldmans say Simpson crafted a lucrative deal with HarperCollins, then transferred all rights to the book to Lorraine Brooke Associates, a company run by his daughter from his first marriage.

Through her attorney, Arnelle Simpson told the judge she does not have copies of the book by her father, who has a home in Miami-Dade.

The judge's order stems from a lawsuit filed by Goldman's father, who described Lorraine Brooke as a "sham entity" created last year to prevent his family from claiming any of the more than $38 million Simpson owes the Goldmans from a civil judgment against him in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The family wants control of the controversial book to publish it, but under a new title: Confessions of a Double Murderer.

A California state court has granted Goldman the right to seek the auction of the book.

A sale date had been set for April 17, but Lorraine Brooke filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy four days before, stopping the sale.

Arnelle Simpson sought to reorganize the company to maintain temporary control, but Cristol ruled it should be liquidated. Last month, he decided an independent trustee would control the company.