New York company to publish O.J. Simpson book: agent

NEW YORK Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:44pm EDT

Former NFL star and actor O.J. Simpson talks with reporters as he arrives for the funeral of attorney Johnnie Cochran in Los Angeles, April 6, 2005. Simpson's hypothetical account of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson will be printed by a New York publisher, a spokesman for literary agent Sharlene Martin said on Monday. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Former NFL star and actor O.J. Simpson talks with reporters as he arrives for the funeral of attorney Johnnie Cochran in Los Angeles, April 6, 2005. Simpson's hypothetical account of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson will be printed by a New York publisher, a spokesman for literary agent Sharlene Martin said on Monday.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

NEW YORK (Reuters) - O.J. Simpson's hypothetical account of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson will be printed by a New York publisher, a spokesman for literary agent Sharlene Martin said on Monday.

Martin struck a deal on the controversial book -- a previous print of it was scrapped last year -- on behalf of the family of Ron Goldman, who was murdered along with Brown Simpson at her Los Angeles home in 1994, according to a spokesman.

A federal judge last month gave the rights to the book, entitled "If I Did It," to Goldman's family, who are owed $33.5 million in damages by Simpson.

Simpson was acquitted of criminal murder charges in 1995 but was found liable for the deaths two years later in a civil case brought by the victims' families. The former U.S. football star has vowed to never voluntarily pay damages to the families.

The identity of the publisher is due to be announced on Tuesday, Martin's spokesman said.

"The (Goldman) family and publisher have pledged to leave Simpson's manuscript entirely intact, but they will also add key commentary," Michael Wright, the spokesman for Los Angeles-based Martin, said in a statement. The nature of the commentary was not disclosed.

The Goldman family, the publisher and Martin will contribute portions of the proceeds to the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice, Wright said.

Under the court agreement, the Goldman's obtained all rights to the book, and to Simpson's name and likeness in connection with it. Simpson will not receive any money.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.-owned publishing house, HarperCollins, printed 400,000 copies of the book but scrapped it in November amid public outrage shortly before its release. Murdoch apologized, and all copies were recalled and destroyed.

Relatives of Simpson's ex-wife had not previously pursued a claim to the book but made an 11th-hour request for up to 40 percent of the proceeds. The claim was denied the court.

But last month's agreement requires the Goldmans to give a court-appointed trustee 10 percent of the first $4 million in gross proceeds and a percentage of all proceeds beyond that. The Brown family will get most of that money.

In an interview last month with Dallas-based Web site Market News First (www.MN1.com), Simpson said the book was composed by a ghost author and that he reluctantly agreed to include a "night-of-the-crime" account as told by him only after it was agreed to clearly label it as hypothetical.

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