O.J. Simpson's 'acquittal suit' to be donated

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson, center, reacts as he is found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, as members of his defense team, F. Lee Bailey, left, and Johnnie Cochran Jr., right, look on, in court in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press
Published: Monday, March 1, 2010 at 10:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 1, 2010 at 10:19 p.m.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — With O.J. Simpson giving his agreement from prison, a judge approved a plan Monday to donate the suit the former NFL star was wearing when he was acquitted of murder to the Smithsonian Institution.

The deal ends a 13-year legal battle between Simpson's former sports agent Mike Gilbert and Fred Goldman, the father of the man Simpson was accused of killing in 1994.

Both men claimed the right to the suit, shirt and tie Simpson was wearing Oct. 3, 1995, when he was acquitted of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman after a trial that riveted the nation.

Gilbert, who has had the clothes in his possession, came up with the idea of a donation.

"It's part of American history," Gilbert said outside court. "People should be able to see it and reflect on what went so wrong for someone who had everything."

Simpson, 62, who is serving a minimum nine-year prison sentence in Nevada on an unrelated case, told the judge and lawyers by phone that he approved of donating the suit "as long as no one made a profit from it," his attorney Ronald P. Slates said.

"I said to OJ, 'Whether you like it or not, you're an important part of American legal history, ' " Slates said.

Fred Goldman has been trying for years to seize Simpson's assets to satisfy a $33.5 million civil judgment for the wrongful death of his son and ex-wife. Simpson maintains he did not commit the murders and therefore owes Goldman nothing.

The Smithsonian has not yet been contacted to see if the museum wants the Simpson suit. If it is rejected, it will be offered to another museum or institution of higher learning, according to the agreement approved by Superior Court Judge Joseph Biderman.

The donation will be made in the name of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Goldman's attorney, David Cook, said Simpson did not have many assets left to be seized, but he would continue the quest.

"It's on my radar screen but it's becoming a very small blip," Cook said. "But you never know what's going to fall from the sky."

Simpson was convicted of robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas last October after a botched heist to retrieve his memorabilia he said was stolen by dealers.

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