Judge Rules Simpson's Mother Can Keep Piano

(September 30, 1997) A judge ruled that the $20,000 grand piano seized by creditors from O.J. Simpson's home in August was a gift to Simpson's mother and that she can keep the piano.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Perez made his ruling after a three-hour hearing in which Eunice Simpson, the mother of O.J. Simpson, testified that her son and his late ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, gave her the piano as a gift in 1984. Attorneys for Fred Goldman tried to seize the instrument and gain the right to auction it as partial payment for the $33.5 million wrongful death award against Simpson this past February. Although Simpson kept the piano in his home, he claimed from the beginning that it belonged to his mother. She was the only member of the family who played the piano, Simpson said.

Judge Perez' ruling was Goldman's latest setback in his attempts to make Simpson pay portions of the wrongful death award. On August 28, Goldman's attorneys dropped their bid to seize O.J. Simpson's NFL pension fund. They claimed that they did not have enough evidence to prove that it could be legally used as payment in the wrongful death suit. Simpson, who reportedly draws $25,000 a month from the pension, claimed that his NFL pension was exempt from the wrongful death award payments.

In Oct. 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman in his criminal trial. However, a jury still held Simpson liable for their deaths in his civil trial on Feb. 10, 1997.

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