Goldman Family Publishes O.J. Simpson Book, “If I Did It,” To Punish O.J., But Inflicts A Lot of Pain On Nicole Brown’s Family As Well

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The WaPo reports:

… The book — in which Simpson wrote of how he might have killed Nicole Brown, his ex-wife, and Ron Goldman the night of June 12, 1994 — prompted so much negative reaction that the original publisher, Judith Regan, was fired and hundreds of thousands of copies pulped.

Goldman then gained rights to the book under terms of the 1997 civil court judgment that held Simpson responsible for the murders, and arranged for it to be published again.

He hasn’t changed a word of the text or the title. But, in a stinging bit of irony, he has reduced the size of the word “If” to the level of the microscopic. With the subtitle, the cover now appears to read: “I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.” Goldman also added an introduction, prologue and afterword, by himself and others, that recasts Simpson’s book as both an indictment and a confession by the man himself. The book will be in stores by this weekend, and more than 100,000 copies have already been ordered, according to Goldman’s literary agent. The profits will go toward settling a minuscule fraction of the $38 million Simpson owes both Goldman’s family and Nicole Brown’s estate, which is devoted entirely to the two children she had with Simpson.

But Goldman’s decision to publish the book has enraged Brown’s family. Denise Brown, her sister, refused to be onstage with Goldman on Oprah Winfrey’s show, instead taping her segment separately. She vows she will never speak to him again. …

Denise Brown objects to the publication of the book in part because it “[gives] Simpson the “sickening” opportunity to trash Nicole’s name and reputation, then taunt the families with details of the murders.” A couple of weeks ago she said in this interview:

… First of all, and the most important thing is that I’m here for Nicole’s children, for Sydney and Justin. The publishing of this book would send them back into the center of the storm when this murder first happened, this horrific incident in these children’s lives 13 years ago.

Second, and for anyone to make available the words of a man who is a lying, murdering sociopath and a batterer, for anyone who was willing to publish something like this, I was up for that fight. I was ready to stand up and say and voice my opinion how disgusted I was to have this book see the light of day.

But my intentions today have been clear from the beginning. The Goldmans, they’re the ones that have flip-flopped their story. Originally, we did not want this book to see the light of day, and this is where I still stand. The Goldmans have turned our world upside-down by their unfathomable actions.

My work will continue to speak out for victims caught in the dynamics of domestic violence, and I’m here to save lives and to keep my promise to my sister, Nicole, so that she did not die in vain.

Part of the “publishing rights” that the bankruptcy court awarded to the Goldmans is, at least according to this CNN article from July 30th (see also) would seem to include the right to make changes in the text before it is published if they chose to. From the article:

After Monday’s hearing, Fred Goldman said in the beginning he agreed the book was “a how-to book,” but after reading it decided it was “just an indictment of what this man did.”

He said he did not plan to publish the book as Simpson wrote it, but would elaborate on the details of what happened and provide more background information.

David Cook, Goldman’s lawyer, said after the hearing that the Goldmans had “sent out feelers” to publishers, but he could not predict the book’s future. He said, however, he is “certain” the Goldmans will be able to sell the book rights and do well because a high interest in the case remains.

Assuming this is correct, I think Denise Brown has every right to complain if the Goldmans authorize publication of a book that is derogatory and dishonest about Nicole Simpson. I know they grieve over the loss of Ron Goldman, and I understand their anger and frustrations about the way O.J. Simpson has been able to avoid paying off the judgment they obtained against him while maintaining a high standard of living. I’m even willing to believe that they are publishing the book to punish O.J, rather than to obtain the cash. But this is a really lousy thing to do to Nicole Brown’s family.

–Ann Bartow

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