Verdicts & Settlements

Back in Ball Game: O.J. Book 'If I Did It'

A highly controversial, near-confessional account by fallen football hero O.J. Simpson of how he might have killed his former wife and a male companion could still be published.

The father of Nicole Brown Simpson’s companion, Ron Goldman, can pursue the rights to the book, “If I Did It,” from an insolvent company owned by Simpson’s children, a Miami bankruptcy judge ruled today, saying that this ownership structure amounted to a scheme by O.J. Simpson to defraud his creditors. That means Fred Goldman, as the company’s largest creditor, potentially can publish the book himself, reports CNN, and he may publish it under a new title, according to his attorney.

Simpson, considered perhaps the best college running back ever, later played for the Buffalo Bills, worked as a sports commentator and actor, and famously ran an obstacle course in Avis rental car commercials before being accused of the killings. He reportedly could have earned a $900,000 advance for the book, which discusses, hypothetically, how he would have committed the murders if he was guilty. Initially proclaimed as a publishing coup when it was announced last year, the book project was cancelled when a firestorm of criticism resulted.

Simpson was acquitted in a 1995 criminal trial of the two murders at Nicole Brown Simpson’s home in Los Angeles a year earlier, but was found in a guility in a subsequent civil trial in 1997. That case settled for well over $30 million–a settlement Fred Goldman is now seeking to enforce.

Procedurally, his quest to collect part of the largely unpaid judgment began in California, where a court also ruled that the Simpson children’s publishing company was a surrogate for their father. It ordered an auction of the book this spring, so the money could go to Goldman, but the auction was halted when the Miami-based publishing company went bankrupt, Reuters explains.

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