The estate of Nicole Brown Simpson should receive half of any money raised at next week’s auction for the rights to the canceled O.J. Simpson book “If I Did It,” an attorney representing the estate said Thursday.
A motion seeking that, coming just days before the April 17 auction in Sacramento, will be filed early Friday before it is argued at a hearing scheduled in a Santa Monica courtroom.
The book, in which Simpson explains how he might have committed the killings of his ex-wife and her friend Ron 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. He was found liable in the civil trial that followed and Goldman’s family has been trying to collect a $33.5 million civil judgment from him ever since.
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, a Florida-based company that struck the book deal with HarperCollins, a division of News Corp., be included in the auction.
Now it appears the Goldman family must contend with the Brown Simpson estate, created on behalf of the Simpsons’ two youngest children. Louis Brown is the executor of his daughter’s estate that also was supposed to collect from the civil judgment.
Goldman family attorney David Cook said Thursday he was going to oppose the motion, noting the Brown Simpson estate has not recently sought any damages from Simpson.
“Winning is nothing, collecting is everything,” Cook said. “They have sat by the wayside. They can’t run in at the last moment.”
Attorney Greg Hafif, who represents the Brown Simpson estate, said the main goal is to ensure the book is never published.
“We don’t want to see that happen,” said Hafif, who added the estate will bid on the Simpson rights. “The Goldmans want to see this book published. I think it’s deplorable on their part.”
Denise Brown Simpson, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, said Thursday that selling the “If I Did It” rights would provide potential predators with a “manual on murder.”
“What is most decent and appropriate is to abolish any rights to ‘the book’ and allow my sister to rest in peace,” Brown said in a statement. “This should not be about money, but about morality.”
The auction will be held by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department since HarperCollins’ California offices are located there. Notice of the auction has been sent to publishers, Hollywood studios and talent agencies, but Cook said he hasn’t received calls “from anyone of note.”