After Judge Gerald Rosenberg ordered him to submit an inventory of all the Simpson items in his possession, Gilbert said he wanted to consult an attorney and started to hedge his comments about the suit.
He refused to show it to a reporter. "You'll want to bring a photographer," he said.
But if you have it, he was asked, what's the big deal?
He replied: "If I get put under oath, do you think I'm going to acknowledge I have it?"
Ron Goldman's sister, Kim, said she was ambivalent about going after the suit and other items. For more than a decade, the family unsuccessfully chased Simpson for assets. The amount they are owed -- the original award of $19.7 million has doubled with interest, lawyers say -- seemed to be "Monopoly money, a fantasy," she said.
But in the last two years, that has changed a little. There was Simpson's "hypothetical confession," the book "If I Did It," which according to court records brought the Goldmans less than $200,000, and there is the memorabilia used as evidence in the Las Vegas trial, now awaiting a sheriff's sale in Santa Monica.
"Now that there are tangible assets, it feels weird," Kim Goldman said. "I don't want his possessions. I don't want his suit."
But, she said, she and her father will never walk away, as some have advised. Taking Simpson's property is the only way of making real the civil jury's finding that he was responsible for the deaths, she said.
The $50,000 price tag Gilbert placed on the suit seems more a wish than reality. A collection attorney had called around to casinos to see if they would be interested in buying the suit. The casinos declined or didn't return his calls.
"We get offered O.J. Simpson memorabilia, and we always decline it," said Darren Julien, whose company, Julien's Auctions, arranges sales of high-end memorabilia. "It's just not an iconic thing that people would say, 'I want that in my home, or I want that in my office.' "
Goldman attorney Peter Haven, who has spoken at length with Gilbert about the suit, called Gilbert "a tortured soul." "The entourage is over. It's busted up. It's gone. The leader is in jail," he said. "The saddest thing about this whole case is people . . . who cling to its electricity because it's all they got."