Goldman sues O.J. for book-deal bucks
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) ó Ronald Goldman’s father sued O.J. Simpson on Tuesday, seeking any money the former NFL star received for a canceled book deal and TV interview that told a hypothetical tale of how he would have killed his ex-wife and Goldman.
The federal lawsuit filed in California by Fred Goldman’s Indianapolis-based attorney accuses Simpson of “fraudulent conveyance” and alleges that he created a shell corporation that received at least $1.1 million as part of the TV interview and book, titled If I Did It.
Attorney Jonathan Polak said Lorraine Brooke Associates was created in March using the middle name of Simpson’s two children. The lawsuit calls it a “sham entity” formed to defraud Ron Goldman’s relatives by preventing them from claiming any of more than $38 million Simpson owes the family from a judgment against him in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Goldman’s lawsuit seeks about $1.1 million plus punitive damages, although Polak said he believed Simpson has already spent the money he received from News Corp., the owner of Fox Broadcasting and publisher HarperCollins.
Polak said the lawsuit’s true aim is to determine how the book and TV interview deals were reached.
“The question in this lawsuit is not about what’s in their bank account right now,” he said. “The issue is, can we unwind this series of transactions and hold those we believe truly are responsible accountable financially?”
Polak said he believes Judith Regan ó who was fired last week as a publisher by HarperCollins ó and Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp., need “to come clean” on their knowledge of how Simpson was reimbursed for the deal.
Andrew Butcher, a spokesman for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., said he could not comment on the possibility of Murdoch being deposed.
He said News Corp. has been working with Goldman’s family to answer questions about the book deal.
“From the very start, we’d offered every assistance to the family of Ron Goldman. Any information they have asked for regarding the contracts for the Simpson book, we have given them,” Butcher said.
Polak said he has asked News Corp. to destroy all copies of the book, as well as copies of the interview with Fox that was to have aired. He also wants News Corp. to assign all rights to those books and interviews to the Goldman family.
Butcher said News Corp. has destroyed all copies of If I Did It but objected to the request to assign the rights to the Goldmans.
“You don’t own the rights to someone’s book in perpetuity,” he said. “It doesn’t work that way. It’s more complicated.”
Simpson told The Associated Press last month that he took part in the project solely for personal profit and acknowledged that any financial gain was “blood money.”
Simpson would not say how much he was paid in advance, only that it was less than the $3.5 million reported. He said the money already has been spent, some of it on tax obligations.
Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday with Simpson’s attorney, Yale Galanter.
Simpson was acquitted of criminal charges in the 1994 killings.
In 1997, a civil court jury, using a lesser standard of proof than is required at a criminal trial, found Simpson liable for Nicole Brown Simpson’s and Goldman’s stabbing deaths. The jury ordered him to pay about $19.7 million to Goldman’s family ó an amount Polak said has grown to more than $38 million with interest.
Fred Goldman said in a statement that he was eager to learn who worked with Simpson on the deal.
“We will not stop until we are able to shine the light of truth on those that acted in concert with him,” he said.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: “If”?!?!? “If” he did it?!?!?
Goldman sues O.J. for book-deal bucks