JURORS RECEIVE VARYING REPORTS
Simpson is worth $15.7 million. Simpson’s lawyers say the football star is beyond broke $9.6 million in debt.
The jurors who found Simpson liable this week in the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman may have to crunch the numbers themselves in the battle over Simpson’s bottom line.
As the football star’s wrongful death trial moved to the punitive phase Thursday, lawyers for the victims’ parents began efforts to strip Simpson of his current and future wealth as punishment for the 1994 slayings.
Chief defense lawyer Robert Baker, insisting that Simpson has been punished enough by an $8.5 million judgment awarded Tuesday to Goldman’s family, urged jurors not to assess anything in punitive damages.
He has no ability to earn a living, » Baker said.
But the plaintiffs strongly disagreed. They put experts on the witness stand who estimate that Simpson could earn $2 million to $3 million a year on his name, likeness and trademarks even with his tarnished image.
Forensic accountant Neill W. Freeman told jurors that Simpson earned more than $2.8 million as a result of the slayings, for which he was acquitted after a criminal trial in October 1995.
He pocketed $991,743 from his jailhouse memoir, I Want to Tell You »; $303,500 from his post acquittal video, and about $1.01 million from autographs and memorabilia since his arrest.
Simpson, who was not in court Thursday, also made about $434,000 selling photos of his homecoming party to a tabloid and adidas tenisky $75,300 for media interviews since his release from jail.
His asset column includes two pensions worth about $4.1 million; a $250,000 San Francisco condominium purchased for his mother, Eunice; and a $175,000 NFL pension.
Freeman suggested that Simpson was hiding about $3 million in proceeds from insurance payoffs and sales of his interest in HoneyBaked Ham franchises.
Sports and celebrity agent Mark Roesler, who represents the images of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and who once represented Elvis Presley’s estate, testified that Simpson could earn $2 million to $3 million until his death through marketing his name and likeness.
If sold today, rights to Simpson’s name and likeness far into the future would sell for nearly $25 million, Freeman said.
Roesler said Simpson easily could sign 25,000 autographs a year, earning him $1 million to $1.5 million annually.
An autographed photo of Simpson goes for $60, Roesler said. Only five athletes among them Mike Tyson, who served time in prison for rape get more, Roesler said. Tyson’s photos list for adidas tenisky $100.
Roesler said much Simpson memorabilia have tripled in value since the slayings.
The agent said Simpson also could be expected to earn a one time $4 million to $5 million in book and audio tape deals, up to $1.5 million a year in product licensing and memorabilia sales, up to $500,000 a year in endorsements and advertising, and as much as $250,000 a year in media interviews.
Simpson also could sell his furniture and other personal possessions at a premium, Roesler said. A pair of his tennis shoes went for $805 at auction, he said. Justice for All, » to be used on jewelry, toys, clothing and other items, Roesler said.
But Baker insisted that Simpson, 49, is broke. He said his client’s debts include $2.9 million still owed lawyers in both his trials. He has no equity in his Rockingham Avenue estate and no savings, and he can’t access his pension plans until he turns 55, Baker said.
Baker claimed that Simpson memorabilia are worthless, and his ability to cash in on his fame and notoriety is zilch.
Pointing a finger at Roesler, Baker offered to make you a deal right now » and sell him Simpson’s image for $25 million. Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki sustained an objection to the question.