OJ Courted Memorabilia Dealers

The LA Times looks at the men behind Simpson's mementos
By Kate Schwartz,  Newser User
Posted Sep 22, 2007 12:02 PM CDT
OJ Courted Memorabilia Dealers
Michael Schwartz, director of entertainment memorabilia for the auction house of Butterfield & Butterfield, is seen through a display case containing O.J. Simpson's 1968 Heisman Trophy at their gallery in this Feb. 10, 1999 file photo, in Los Angeles. The auction house conducted a court-ordered auction...   (Associated Press)

Simpson's involvement with the memorabilia dealers he's accused of robbing began in the cell he sat in days after the 1994 murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The LA Times reports Simpson asked agent Richard Gilbert to push memorabilia signed behind bars, merchandise he claims Gilbert later stole that Simpson believed was in the hotel room he stands accused of raiding.

Gilbert, who was not involved in the robbery, says he sold Simpson memorabilia to Bruce Fromong, a dealer allegedly threatened in the break-in. Fromong testified that Simpson's collectibles had become virtually unsaleable at his civil trial, though he, Gilbert, and Simpson continued to hawk autographed gear. Fromong recently traveled to the Cayman Islands to explore offshore accounts to hide Simpson's memorabilia earnings. (Read more OJ Simpson stories.)

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