Former O.J. Simpson defense attorney F. Lee Bailey filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maine on Friday, reporting $5.6 million in debt to the IRS.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Bailey owes the money due to a dispute over his reportable income from 1993-2001.
“After trying very hard to settle the case, the IRS turned me down on the grounds that I am a celebrity and it would look bad for them to settle the case,” Bailey told the paper. “There’s a good case to be made for bias, but I’m not the one to make that case.”
In 2001 Bailey was disbarred in Florida over his handling of shares of stock owned by one of his clients. The IRS said Bailey owed $1.9 million because of his failure to report some of the stock proceeds as income, and filed a $4.5 million lien against the lawyer.
“At 83, it’s a little late to raise that kind of money overnight. It’s been a long battle,” Bailey said. In documents obtained by TheWrap, Bailey lists his monthly income as $7,119.00, and his monthly expenses as $6,119.00.
Debt to the IRS is not typically discharged in bankruptcy proceedings, but they can be discharged after a period of time if Bailey meets certain conditions, such as paying his taxes on time.
Bailey served as one of Simpson’s attorneys in the high-profile 1995 trial for the murder of the NFL star’s wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
He was portrayed by actor Nathan Lane in the recent “The People v. O.J. Simpson” miniseries.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.