Ron Goldman's father and sister are defending their decision to publish O.J. Simpson's infamous "If I Did It" book, saying the book had to be published for legal reasons, and doing so gives them the first victory in the 11 years since a civil jury found the former NFL star-turned-actor liable for the murder of Goldman and Simpson's ex-wife.
“We’ve been fighting him for 11 years after we received our civil verdict, and this is the first time we’ve come close to taking something away from him,” Kim Goldman told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira during an interview Friday. “He’s insulated himself with our system, with his attorneys, and this is the first time that we actually prevailed.”
The Goldmans had been vehemently opposed to publication of the book last year when Simpson sold it for an advance of nearly $700,000 to Regan Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. At the time, Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman's father, had said, “The fact that someone is willing to publish this garbage ... is just morally despicable to me.”
When public outrage forced Regan to cancel publication of the book, the Goldmans won a lawsuit to acquire the manuscript.
“In the beginning, our feeling, perhaps like a lot of folks, was that, one, we didn’t want him to profit by it and two, we didn’t know what the content of the book was,” Fred Goldman said. “We were concerned it’s a manual for murder. We’ve learned two things since then. One, he had profited substantially — $680,000 approximately of his actual piece of it — and we have read it and it is not by any stretch a manual on how to commit murder. There’s more violence on TV, more violence on the Internet than exists here.”
Just as importantly, Goldman said, Simpson implicates himself, in a sense, by describing the attacks — albeit in hypotheticals.
“We view it as close to an admission, a confession, as is humanly possible, in his words,” Fred Goldman said.
Brown family upset
The Goldmans' decision to publish the book has caused a rift between them and the family of Nicole Brown Simpson.
In August, Denise Brown, Nicole’s sister, appeared on TODAY to talk about the rift and to urge people to boycott the book.
From the time of the murders 13 years ago, she said the Browns and the Goldmans had presented a united front. But when the Goldmans decided to publish the book themselves, she felt outraged and betrayed.
“It’s the Goldmans who have changed their tune,” Brown had said. “It’s all about money. How much money is it going to take to make you guys happy? It’s not going to bring Nicole back.”
“It’s very sad,” Fred Goldman said of the rift in his and Kim’s relationship with Brown.
“Our focus for 13 years has been against the killer. Our focus for the past 11 years has been pursuing the killer for some measure of justice. I wish Denise’s anger could be focused on the man who butchered her sister and murdered Ron,” Fred Goldman said. “He wrote this book. He created this.”
Simpson was accused in June of 1994 of the brutal murders but was acquitted in one of the most highly publicized trials of the 20th century. A year after his acquittal, the Goldmans won their civil suit and a $33-million judgment.
But Simpson moved from California to Florida, where his home could not be seized as an asset, and protected his NFL pension and other income. The Goldmans have never received any money from him. Denise Brown was not part of that lawsuit.
Denise Brown had also said in her August appearance on TODAY that publishing the book would force Sydney and Justin to relive the horrible death of their mother.
“Back in March of 2006, the family sat down — the kids and the killer sat down — and they talked about this book and they all agreed to do this,” Fred Goldman told Vieira. “He wrote this about the mother of his children. It’s just ridiculous. He put us here.”