OJ Did It! Simpson Caught Wearing Fake Rolex
When he was accused of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994, the criminal jury found him not guilty, despite evidence including a bloody size 12 Bruno Magli footprint and a suspicious pair of Aris Light gloves. Defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran made headlines with the glove found at the scene of the murders, infamously telling the members of the jury, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." They did.
O.J. didn't fare so well in a civil trial, in which the Goldman family was awarded USD $33.5 million -- which they have yet to collect. The tide seemed to be turning for the Goldman family recently, when a California judge ordered OJ to turn over a gold Rolex Submariner watch (among other things) in partial settlement of the judgment. The value of the watch, which O.J. had been spotted wearing in a photo on TMZ.com, was between $12,000 and $22,000. Or so the Goldmans thought.
It turns out that the watch was a fake, worth about $125.
The judge has since ordered the watch returned to O.J. -- but why not sell the fake anyway? After all, its celebrity associations are sure to draw interested bidders, and the Goldmans' lawyer has already received a $10,000 offer.
Unfortunately for the Goldmans, the judgment exempts jewelry worth less than $6,075. Simpson's lawyer successfully argued that allowing the sale of the watch at a higher price would create a precedent under which the Goldmans could attempt to seize any number of trivial items belonging to O.J. on the theory that they could be sold at a significant markup.
Not to mention the fact that selling a counterfeit -- even one clearly acknowledged as such and sold as a pop culture artifact rather than as a substitute for a real timepiece -- is a crime. Of course, O.J. can't sell the watch either, but in the U.S. it's perfectly legal to own a fake.
At least the case has left us with one new legal rule: If the watch is fake, you cannot take.