LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A court-ordered auction of the rights to O.J. Simpson’s quasi-confessional book “If I Did It” was canceled because the former football star’s surrogate company has declared bankruptcy, an attorney for the father of murder victim Ron Goldman said on Monday.
But Fred Goldman said he would ask a U.S. bankruptcy court to sell him the book rights as part of a campaign to collect some of the $33.5 million in damages Simpson was ordered to pay in 1997, lawyer David Cook said.
“O.J. Simpson just hired the federal bankruptcy trustee as the auctioneer,” Fred Goldman’s lawyer, David Cook, said. The auction had been scheduled for Tuesday with the proceeds going to Goldman.
The book, which was scrapped in November amid a public furor, was billed by publisher HarperCollins as a hypothetical account of how Simpson could have murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman — though he maintains his innocence to the crime.
Fred Goldman originally condemned the book as shameful exploitation but could ensure its publication by putting the rights up for auction.
Lorraine Brooke Associates, a company set up to collect the reported $1 million book advance, declared bankruptcy in Miami on Friday, effectively halting further collection actions pending further litigation.
Cook has said he has no idea how much rights to the book might fetch at auction.
Simpson has paid little of the $33.5 million judgment but in recent months lawyers for Goldman have aggressively pursued his film and TV earnings as well as the money from “If I Did It.”
Plans to bring out “If I Did It” and an accompanying TV interview were both canceled by News Corp. media tycoon Rupert Murdoch after a torrent of public outrage. News Corp is the corporate parent of HarperCollins.
Publisher Judith Regan, who brokered the book deal and conducted the interview, was fired from her HarperCollins imprint, ReganBooks, about a month later.