O.J. Simpson cremated during private Las Vegas gathering a week after his death

April 21, 2024 - 3:56 PM
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O.J. Simpson testifies during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada May 15, 2013. (Reuters/Jeff Scheid/Pool/File Photo)

O.J. Simpson, the onetime football star infamously tried and acquitted of double-murder charges, was cremated on Wednesday during a private gathering of friends and family in downtown Las Vegas, according to the executor of his estate.

READ: O.J. Simpson, football star turned celebrity murder defendant, dead at 76

Attorney Malcolm LaVergne, who was Simpson’s lawyer for 15 years, said he was among those who attended the morning cremation at the Palm Downtown Mortuary & Cemetery, one week after Simpson died at age 76, following a battle with cancer.

“What I can tell you is that I went there and saw him right before he was placed in” the crematorium, LaVergne told Reuters by phone. “I can tell you other people were there for Mr. Simpson,” he added, declining to disclose who they were except to describe them as relatives and friends.

He said a private “celebration of (Simpson’s) life is being contemplated” for friends and family at a later date. Simpson’s cremated remains “will be in the possession of his children to do with as they see fit, pursuant to his wishes,” LaVergne said.

LaVergne said he was just starting to sort out Simpson’s estate, which he said includes a sum of money of “less than five figures” in a Nevada bank account, household furnishings and golf clubs.

Any outstanding legal judgments against Simpson are next to last in line among any claims that get paid from what remains of his estate after a lengthy list of higher-priority obligations under Nevada law, including the Internal Revenue Service, which ranks No. 5 after administrative costs, funeral expenses, medical bills from his last illness and any alimony and child support, LaVergne said.

Simpson had lived in Las Vegas since he was paroled from prison in Nevada in 2017 after serving nine years for his conviction on charges of robbing and kidnapping two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel in 2007.

Simpson’s greatest notoriety stemmed from his acquittal in a sensational trial 12 years earlier of murder charges in the 1994 stabbing deaths of former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

Another jury later found him liable for their deaths in a civil lawsuit, and ordered him to pay to pay $33.5 million in damages, most of which has never been collected.

Nicknamed “The Juice,” Simpson was one of the best and most popular athletes of the late 1960s and 1970s. He won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s top player – a running back at the University of Southern California, and went on to a record-setting career in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers.

He later parlayed his football stardom into a career as a sportscaster, advertising pitchman and Hollywood actor in films including the “Naked Gun” series.

— Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Michael Perry