Monday, August 20, 2007

O.J. Simpson's Blood Money

Everything about O.J. Simpson repulses and disgusts me. I can't stand to even glance at a picture of him and the sound of his voice has me running to turn off the television or radio as quickly as I can get to them. So I was both gratified and relieved when it turned out that his attempt to turn the blood of his victims into cold cash by "writing" a book called If I Did It had been crushed by a backlash of public outrage. But now the family of one of Simpson's victims is determined to see the book published and, despite my complete sympathy for what the family has suffered at the hands of Simpson, I believe that they are making a terrible mistake.
The saga of “If I Did It” has been nothing but bizarre. For one, it was ghostwritten by Pablo F. Fenjves, a neighbor of Nicole Brown Simpson who testified for the prosecution in Mr. Simpson’s 1995 trial about hearing the “plaintive wail” of Mrs. Simpson’s dog on the night of the killings.

And while the book was initially a money-making vehicle for Mr. Simpson, the driving force behind its revival is Mr. Goldman’s father, Fred, who vehemently opposed its publication when Mr. Simpson stood to profit. Last month, Mr. Goldman won the rights to the book in bankruptcy court, giving him the opportunity to take an asset from Mr. Simpson to help satisfy the $38 million (with accrued interest) wrongful-death civil judgment he won against Mr. Simpson but has failed to collect for the last 11 years, despite his relentless efforts.

The Goldman family is declining interview requests until publication of the book, expected by late September. But Peter T. Haven, a lawyer for Fred Goldman, said that his client was trying to both meet a need for some justice by collecting profits from Mr. Simpson’s work and to use Mr. Simpson’s own words as undisputed evidence of his culpability.
Mr. Kampmann (publisher) said the Goldmans’ involvement with the book “changed the moral landscape” for him and, coupled with the already high public awareness, could make it a best seller. He said the new book would include an extra 14,000 words in a foreword by the Goldman family and commentary by other contributors, in addition to Mr. Simpson’s 60,000-word manuscript.

Despite the proclamation of such high-minded goals, the book, a hardcover that will retail for $24.95, remains an object of revulsion, one that mainstream publishers spurned. One of Nicole Brown’s sisters, Denise, took Mr. Kampmann to task on the “Today” show on Wednesday, and has started a petition on her Web site soliciting public opposition to this second publishing attempt.

In an interview, Ms. Brown said she was all for the Goldman family taking Mr. Simpson “for every penny he’s worth,” but said this was not the way to do it.
I can understand why Fred Goldman wants to hit O.J. Simpson in the wallet. After all, money, sex and golf are the only things that Simpson seems to care about, and without money he might have a problem with the other two loves of his life. But since Goldman had already successfully blocked the publication of this book, Simpson's finances will not be impacted by publishing it now and taking the proceeds away from him. The damage to Simpson had already been done.

As much as I have tried to put myself in Fred Goldman's shoes, I simply cannot understand how he can stand to put blood money earned on the horrible death suffered by his son into his own pockets. Revenge is one thing, and if I were him I would do everything in my legal power to hurt O.J. Simpson, but this is not really accomplishing that. This is one book that I will stay as far from as I possibly can. I refuse to play this game.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I cannot understand the family's decision, and absolutely won't support the book in any way.

  2. I just can't figure this one out, Heather. It makes no sense to me.

    Simpson owes the Goldman's some $38 million. Money from this book will count against that judgment but won't actually come out of Simpson's pocket so, in effect, this is helping Simpson out. Bad move on Fred Goldman's part...

  3. I agree with you, Sam. I just don't get how this hurts Simpson one iota. He is disgusting...and every penny of that settlement should come directly out of his own pocket. I would have rather seen the book published by Simpson and than watched while he had to fork over the money made on it to the Goldmans. Either way - I won't buy it OR read it.

  4. I knew we hadn't heard the last of that book. I agree that when it gets the time of day, everyone should avoid it like the plague it represents.

  5. Exactly right, Wendy. Simpson will experience no sense of loss to Goldman because he's already lost the book. Publishing it is in poor taste now, I think, and I just can't understand why Fred Goldman wants to do it.

  6. Some things are just too ugly to die a quiet death, John. Sadly, Fred Goldman has extended the life of this monster.

  7. I hate to attribute greed to someone I don't know, but it's hard to view Goldman's actions otherwise. Like you said, this doesn't hurt Simpson. It only puts money in Goldman's pocket. So all I can figure is that after that civil judgment he got dollar signs in his eyes and is desperate to get his payout, in whatever form it might take.

  8. Unfortunately, it's hard to figure otherwise unless there is some chance that Simpson could get the court decision overturned and eventually pocket the money.

    I just don't think, as a parent, that I could stand to see that book in print.

  9. I disagree with those against publication of this book. The Goldmans have spent countless dollars fighting this man. It is time they get reimbursed for some of that. In addition, they will be able to show to any doubters, that OJ committed the he tells in his own words how it was done. I think it is a win win and I will support this book and the Goldmans. No family should have to endure what they have been through. Further, people always want to know the true thoughts behind the killer's is their chance. Enough judging of these poor victims.

  10. Yours is certainly a legitimate point of view. It's, however, not one that can agree with at all because this does nothing to take actual money out of the pocket of murderer O.J. Simpson. That had already been accomplished by the original court ruling. This, in my honest opinion, is blood money that would have been better off not being collected by anyone at this point.