O.J. Simpson leaves Brentwood mansion, saying, ‘Leave us alone’
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ O.J. Simpson has moved out of his famed Brentwood mansion, but said today he’s not living in the housing development described in broadcast reports.
``I have a message for the media,″ he said in an interview with The Associated Press. ``For my kids’ sake, leave us alone.″
Simpson said he remained in Brentwood but not in the place broadcast reports said he had chosen, a so-called ``gated community″ _ one with limited access and private guards _ about a mile from his former home. He said his two youngest children, Sydney and Justin, remained in school in Brentwood.
``The media hasn’t found me,″ he said, speaking from his former Rockingham Avenue estate as he picked up some remaining possessions. He called the move a ``melancholy″ experience.
Simpson lost the Brentwood estate under the financial stress of two trials after the 1994 slayings of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
``Everything here was designed by Nicole and me. It’s hard to leave some things,″ he said.
Television reports said Simpson’s new home is about east of his former Rockingham estate near Interstate 405.
Residents of the community who talked with The Associated Press described the area as quiet, safe and friendly with plenty of children and long-time owners.
``It wouldn’t bother me,″ said Mario Piatelli when asked how he feels about Simpson moving in. ``He’s got to live somewhere.″
Simpson vacated his longtime home over the Labor Day weekend, said Dan Leonard, a lawyer appealing the $33.5 million wrongful death verdict against Simpson.
The Rockingham estate _ asking price $3.95 million _ should be available for showing in two weeks after minor repairs, said Fred Sands, president of the realty company listing the 6,200-square-foot house.
New carpets and paint are planned but no structural work. The house has 7 1/2 bathrooms, a tennis court, waterfalls and a swimming pool.
Simpson bought the mansion in 1977, near the end of his Hall of Fame football career _ before he went into television and the movies, before his marriage to Nicole Brown.
The estate became known to millions in June 1994 after police investigating the slayings a few blocks away said they noticed a trail of bloody drops leading up the driveway and found a bloody glove behind the guest house. Americans first saw the home in the background as Simpson was being handcuffed the day after the slayings. His famous slow-speed chase four days later ended there, too.
After Simpson was acquitted in criminal court and then found liable for the deaths this year in civil court, he fell behind on his mortgage. Hawthorne Savings foreclosed on the mansion and then bought it at auction for $2.63 million.
None of the proceeds will go the Brown and Goldman families. The money will instead go toward the numerous liens on the house, against which Simpson had borrowed to pay millions in legal bills.