By Bobbi Booker
“I’m going to tell you a story you’ve never heard before, because no one knows this story the way I know it,” reads the first line of O. J. Simpson’s approved manuscript, “If I Did It. “This is one story the whole world got wrong.”
The story Simpson refers to is the June 12, 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. During the sensational trial that followed, Simpson was acquitted but later found financially liable in a civil trial. When it was announced last fall that Simpson had penned (with the help of a ghostwriter) a hypothetical description of the murders, both the Brown and Goldman families urged the public not to by the book or watch the television special tied-in to the book’s publication by HarperCollins. The original release was canceled in November 2006, but by June 2007 copies of the book had leaked online. In August 2007, a Florida bankruptcy court awarded the rights to the book to the Goldman family to partially satisfy an unpaid civil judgment, which has risen, with interest, to over $38 million. The title of the book was expanded to “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer” ($24.95, Beaufort Books) and comments were added to the original manuscript by the Goldman family, the book’s ghostwriter Pablo Fenjves and journalist Dominick Dunne.
The eventually publication of the book lead to a split between the Browns, who refused to have anything to do with the book’s publicity and the Goldman’s, who have defended their decision in various interviews, including an appearance on ‘Oprah.”
The families quarrels have now been overshadowed by Simpson, whose investigation and arrest in an Las Vegas armed robbery of sports memorabilia have jettison the former sports legend into the headlines again. Simpson’s latest arrest has once again piqued the public’s interest in him and sparked a second printing of his hypothetical murder confession, said the publisher of the rapidly selling tome.
“The arrest brought the whole question of O.J. and the law back into everybody’s consciousness,” said Eric Kampmann, owner of the small, New York-based Beauford, which has commissioned a second printing of 50,000 copies of “If I Did It.”
Overall, the book is a mesmerizing read that deftly intersperses police and court transcripts with Simpson’s recall of the events leading up to and following the sensational killings. It should come as no surprise to readers that Simpson glosses over the actual crime in the chapter entitled, “The Night in Question.”
The Goldman family (whose proceeds will be donated to the Ron Goldman Fund for Justice) views the book as Simpson’s confession and is now encouraging the public to buy the book to learn the truth.
Simpson, who will not receive any payments from this national bestseller, obviously wrote this book as a twisted love story of his relationship with Brown Simpson. “There was no couple like us,” concludes Simpson by book’s end.
=Originally Published in the Philadelphia Tribune on September 24, 2007=
The Associated Press contributed to this report