Tuesday, August 07, 2007

OJ ordered to pay Goldmans videogame royalty cash

First off, I never understood why 2KSports choose to put the likeness of OJ Simpson in their new "All Pro Football" videogame, which features NFL legends like Barry Sanders and John Elway. That's the kind of publicity a company probably doesn't want.

Today, came some more.

Relatives of murder victim Ron Goldman won a court order seizing any money Simpson earns for lending his name and likeness to the game, which includes a team called the Assassins (and that team has a knife-wielding mascot).

Under the order issued by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg, any earnings to Simpson that "have been paid, are due or may be due in the future" for use of his image and likeness in the video game must be turned over to the Goldman estate.

In the game, legends like Simpson can be assigned to any team, so it's possible you could add Simpson to the Assassins, whose mascot makes a chopping motion with the knife when the team does well.

The Goldman's won a $33.5 million judgment against Simpson in a wrongful death lawsuit which was brought against Simpson in 1994, following the stabbing deaths of Goldman and Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson, a former NFL star running back, was acquitted of criminal charges in 1995 but was found legally responsible for their deaths by a civil court jury two years later.

Tuesday's legal victory was part of an effort by Goldman's estate to satisfy that judgment. Simpson has maintained his innocence and vowed never to pay the jury award voluntarily.

The football game was published by Take-Two Interactive. Take Two, which makes some of the best sports simulation games in the market, has earned controversial press in the past for games like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Manhunt 2." Manhunt 2 was banned in Britain and given an adults-only rating in the U.S.

Take-Two told the Associated Press Simpson was compensated, but declined to say how it obtained rights to use his likeness. The company also has issued a statement saying the knife-wielding Assassins mascot is "not specifically associated with O.J. Simpson, and the game does not promote any such connection."

Here is a video of Simpson from the game


Anonymous said...

Amazing. So someone can literally get away with murder and still be held up as a sports hero in our society. This video game company should be ashamed, they didn't need to use him - but now a lot more people will know about their video game, so...

Anonymous said...

You're a bit quick with the murderer title, he was never convicted, meaning they didn't have evidence. You can believe that he did it, and I won't say you're wrong or right, but it really doesn't matter at this point. And yeah, the guy's a legend, one of the best ever, he deserves to be in the game. The thing I don't like is the Goldmans. 33.5 million dollars wasn't enough? They've gotta go through his entire life and take away basically every money-making venture the guy can try? Sympathetic figures turned into money-grubbers, they don't set much better of an example than the Juice.

Anonymous said...

Someone who isn't convicted doesn't mean they didn't have evidence - far from it actually in this case. There was a plethora of evidence, a literal trail of blood from Nicole to OJ's mansion, hence the civil conviction against OJ - the criminal trial was just a matter of excellent defense attorneys creating doubt due to glove size and bogus conspiracy theories (although if you watched the trial like I did, you are still amazed by the jury's decision). And it DOES matter at this point that he is guilty - it always will to people who cared about the victims. And what about Nicole's children? I can't even begin to understand the point of view after all this time that you would seriously think OJ deserves any positive attention or even a good life for that matter. That's my point - we get so tied up in pointing the finger at who is "worse" (e.g., your comments re: the Goldmans) rather than acknowledging what is blatantly just wrong on so many levels - and that was my reaction to hearing about the video game. OJ IS a murderer and even wanted to exploit that in his botched book effort.