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Thursday 14 December 2017

Smithsonian rejects OJ's acquittal suit

What OJ Simpson wore when he was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife and her friend was the suit seen around the world during one of the most watched televised moments in history.

But the Smithsonian Institution, America's repository of historical artifacts, rejected it on Tuesday as inappropriate for their collection.

Announcement of the museum's snub came the morning after a California judge approved the donation as the solution to a 13-year court battle over the carefully tailored tan suit that has has been held by Simpson's former sports agent, Mike Gilbert.

Fred Goldman, the father of the man Simpson was accused of killing in 1994, had been fighting Gilbert for the suit, which Simpson has said was stolen from him.

The Smithsonian announced its decision with a terse announcement on its website.

"The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will not be collecting OJ Simpson's suit," it said.

"The decision was made by the museum's curators together with the director."

Gilbert, who has the suit in storage, said he was disappointed with the decision.

"Whether we like it or not, it's part of American history," he said. "I'm disappointed that they didn't wait to hear from me and consider my vision of how it should be displayed."

Attorney Ronald P Slates, who represents Simpson, said he's keeping his client informed about the donation effort.

Superior Court Judge Joseph S Biderman consulted Simpson by phone on Monday, then approved Gilbert's plan after Simpson said he would agree as long as no one made any money.

The museum's spokeswoman, Linda St Thomas, said curators consider several criteria for accepting donations, including whether an item has historical significance, whether it is needed to complete a collection or is needed for research.

"In this case, they knew it was not appropriate for the collection," she said.

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