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Simpson's house up for auction Monday

house In this story: July 13, 1997
Web posted at: 9:36 p.m. EDT (0136 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson's dream house will go on the block Monday, marking the end of a posh and flamboyant lifestyle for the former football star.

In the late 1970s Simpson purchased the 6,200-square-foot home on Rockingham Avenue, replete with waterfalls and an Olympic size swimming pool. The price: $650,000.

The 6,200-square-foot, five-bedroom home was a familiar landmark -- and key source of evidence -- during the drama surrounding the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

But that's not the first time the place has been associated with tragedy. Not long after Simpson moved in, his 23-month-old daughter from his first marriage drowned in the house's swimming pool.

The public first got a glimpse of the mansion the day after the killings, when Simpson returned from a trip to Chicago. The house served as a final backdrop to the infamous slow speed police chase, which culminated in Simpson's arrest.

A criminal jury acquitted Simpson on all counts, although a separate civil jury found him financially liable for the both deaths.

House rich in memories for Simpson


In an interview with Greta Van Susteren on CNN's "Burden of Proof," Simpson said the house is rich in memories for him. "There's a certain sadness there," he said. "But life goes on and I believe in some areas the move will be good because I'll leave some memories -- some memories I'll always have....But I've had nights that I've walked around and gotten melancholy and got teary eyed and think about things that Nicole and I did..."

Simpson's financial problems stem from the civil verdict in March that assessed him $33.5 million in damages -- an amount that will make him a debtor forever. His home is encumbered by numerous liens, and he borrowed on it to help pay millions in legal bills.

The foreclosure auction -- Monday morning outside a county courthouse in suburban Norwalk -- was set by the first lien holder, Hawthorne Savings.

Bidders must bring at least $2.5 million

The auction could draw many bidders or none. Prospective buyers must bring at least $2.5 million in cash or a cashiers check. Some in real estate have estimated the house is worth $4 million.

"The bank is going to go ahead and sell the house to the highest bidder and try to get enough cash to pay off the loan," bankruptcy expert Dan Schechter said. "Any extra cash that the sale generates will go to other people who have trustees or liens on the house."

A big selling point of the mansion is the guest house, where Kato Kaelin, Simpson's boarder, lived.

"O.J. was married to Marguerite (his first wife) when he bought the house," real estate agent Elaine Young recalled. "She was a painter and the guest house had a north light. It was perfect for her studio."


After he and Marguerite divorced Simpson brought his second bride, Nicole Brown, to live at the estate. She redecorated it in elegant style, and when his football career gave way to a budding movie career, Simpson added a screening room.

After he and Nicole divorced, she moved to a condominium about two miles away, where she and Goldman were found murdered.

On Saturday, about 100 friends and relatives gathered at the estate for a belated birthday party; Simpson's 50th was July 9. He took time to pose for camera-toting tourists outside the gate.

'I happen to love the game of golf'

Speaking to Van Susteren in the interview airing Monday night, Simpson decried his fate. "I don't think what has happened to me has been fair. I think that I've gotten --that I didn't commit these crimes. I've had to go through all of this."

"I think I've tried to go through it with some form of dignity. I've tried to deal with it as best I can without going nuts. And at some times, I thought I was going to go nuts. Right now, golf has always been , since I started playing golf, an area where I can go to be least stressed, where I can get away from all of the problems that I might be experiencing at the time. I happen to love the game of golf."

Correspondent Charles Feldman contributed to this report

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