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O.J. says ghostwriter wrote account of killings

O.J. Simpson says a chapter from his unpublished book that hypothesizes how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend was created mostly from a ghostwriter’s research and is not a confession.
/ Source: The Associated Press

O.J. Simpson says a chapter from his unpublished book that hypothesizes how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend was created mostly from a ghostwriter’s research and is not a confession.

“I’m saying it’s a fictional creation,” Simpson said Sunday in a telephone interview. “It has so many (factual) holes in it that anybody who knew anything about it would know that I didn’t write it.”

His comments came as a story for its current issue paraphrasing the chapter, called “The Night in Question,” which the magazine said it had obtained from an anonymous source.

Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman after a yearlong trial. A civil jury later held him liable for the killings. On Sunday, Simpson again denied killing the couple.

Simpson declined to provide a copy of the chapter to The Associated Press.

“I don’t have it,” he said. “I shredded everything I had about it, and I thought I shredded it from my memory.”

Newsweek’s account of the chapter describes Simpson as becoming angry with his ex-wife at his daughter’s dance recital. He later went to her condominium to scare her, entering with a knife through a back gate with a broken latch, the account states.

Simpson encountered Goldman and accused him of planning a sexual encounter with Nicole. He became enraged when Nicole’s Akita dog appeared to recognize Goldman as a familiar visitor, the account states.

Nicole rushed at Simpson and fell, hitting her head on the ground, according to the account. Goldman then took a karate stance, further angering Simpson, who dared Goldman to fight before pulling back.

“Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can’t tell you exactly how,” Newsweek quoted Simpson as writing.

The account contains no descriptions of the actual killings but says Simpson was drenched in blood and holding a bloody knife when he regained control of himself. Both victims were dead.

The ghostwriter of “If I Did It” knew nothing about the case when he came into the project and had to do a lot of research, Simpson said. The writer was not a witness at the criminal trial, as has been reported, Simpson said.

Simpson said he saw a number of factual flaws while proofreading the chapter but did not correct them because he thought that would prove that he did not write it, he said.

Author Laurence Schiller, whose book “American Tragedy” contains a detailed account of the crime and its aftermath, said he was contacted last November by someone who read the chapter to him.

“There’s not a fact in there that wasn’t previously printed or was in the trial discovery papers,” Schiller said.

Schiller agreed with Simpson that there are technical flaws in the chapter, including the claim that Simpson entered Nicole’s home through a broken back gate. Both Schiller and Simpson said the front gate had the broken latch.

The book was to be published on Nov. 30 by News Corp.-owned HarperCollins. News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch called off the project 10 days before, apologizing for any pain that it had caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

When the proposal for a book was brought to him, Simpson said, he implored the publishers not to include the “created half-chapter” about the killings.

However, “they said it was the hook that would sell the book,” Simpson said.

He said he elicited a promise that there would be no descriptions of anyone being killed, something he feared would upset his children.

“Was it tacky?” he said. “Yes, it was tacky. But it was brought to me. I didn’t have an agent out there saying, here’s a book from O.J.”

He said he agreed to the book because he needed the money for his family.

“I knew going in it would be what it would be,” he said. “It was worth it. I made a decision that it would benefit my family and my life. I don’t have any regrets.”