An auction for the rights to the canceled O.J. Simpson book “If I Did It” was put on hold after the company that struck the book deal with HarperCollins filed for bankruptcy Friday.
The filing in a Florida bankruptcy court by Lorraine Brooke Associates — said to be owned by Simpson’s children — means no further action can be taken in regard to the book rights until a federal judge reviews the case.
“As far as we know the auction will not be held on Tuesday,” said attorney David Cook. He represents slaying victim Ron Goldman’s family, which has tried to collect a $33.5 million civil judgment from Simpson for about a decade.
The book, in which Simpson explains how he might have committed the killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman, has been the subject of a legal battle between the former NFL star and Goldman’s family.
The book and companion TV interview were never released because of public outrage. Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995.
No date has been set for the bankruptcy hearing, but Cook hopes to get an order from the judge that would allow the auction to continue.
Cook said the bankruptcy filing by Lorraine Brooke Associates was a final effort by the Simpson camp to stop the auction.
“It’s their only and last option,” he said. “The bankruptcy process is a detour on the road to justice.”
Simpson attorney Yale Galanter said last month in court that Lorraine Brooke Associates is owned by the former football player’s four children. Goldman’s father, Fred, had accused Simpson in a federal lawsuit of creating the company so he could hide money from the book and TV deal so the Goldmans couldn’t seize the profits. The suit was dismissed and is under appeal.
News Corp. has said it paid $880,000 for the publishing rights.
The auction was going to be held Tuesday by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, since HarperCollins’ California offices are located there.
Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg had ordered the book rights to be auctioned off with proceeds from the auction and any subsequent book profits turned over to Goldman’s family. He also ruled the rights of Lorraine Brooke Associates be included in the auction.
On Friday, Rosenberg denied a request by the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson, created on behalf of the Simpson’s two youngest children, to receive any proceeds from the auction. Louis Brown is the executor of his daughter’s estate, which also was supposed to collect from the civil judgment.