O.J. Says "I Did It" was Never Meant to Be a Confessional
This morning, I sat on the phone, having called into WTPS-AM in Miami, waiting to talk with O.J. Simpson.
The folks at the black-oriented talk station told me they would call me, after I did an interview with them Monday on the Michael Richards mess. Instead, at about 8:15 a.m., I called them and wound up on hold, listening as O.J. dished dirt on his life, current circumstances and his feelings of persecution as the world treats him like a guy who got away with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.
What follows are barely-edited quotes from the rambling interview, in which Simpson took questions from a complimentary, worshipful array of callers. I also got to ask about how the book deal came together and how he was paid.
On the ramifications of the $33.5-million judgement won by the Goldmans against him: "Let’s destroy two myths right now: I don’t have any bank accounts in the Bahamas. I don’t have any extra money anyplace. I don’t have the obligation to make money and take it to the Goldmans. I don’t have those obligations. If I’m owed money, and Goldman went to those person and said do you owe OJ money? Goldman has the right – just like my kids…just like DirecTV has the right to say turn that money over to me. I don’t have any obligation to take them money. That’s the law.”
On how the book project If I Did It came about: "“I was approached to do a book from a company that had 12 or 13 best-sellers last year. They presented a book – I think it was Barbara Boxer the politician and Nicole Ritchie, the way they told me those books were written, is they were fiction/fact. The names were changed but you pretty much knew who they were talking about. When I first sat down with the writer I felt that was the book I was going to do. The writer on the other hand, had a different take. He felt that he was told that it was a confession book. (Publisher) Judith Regan had told him, hired him, that it was a confession book. I said confess what? I’ve got nothing to confess. That was almost the end of the deal.
"The powers from L.A. who put the book together called Regan and everyone went back and forth, back and forth...and then by the end of the day they had come up with this (idea), its going to be his word hypothetical. I said 'I can’t sit down and tell you, if you want to do a whole book on a hypothetical.' I thought I would be able to talk about what happened with my lifestyle and what was going on with Nicole and I, the nature of her relationship with Kato...and really clear a lot of things up. They said we can do that, but we’ll put that in the front of (the book).
"So we did that until we got to the Chapter 6 -– actually, its about a half a chapter, that starts with some fictional character named Charlie showing up. Charlie came out of the fact that I’ve always felt two people had to be involved. Even though the prosecution said one, and one murderer only. I don’t think we can do anything really graphic -– knife cutting and stuff. Which they agreed to. He asked me a series of questions and then he went and wrote it. When I looked at it, by the time I saw it somebody had leaked something and the National Enquirer had said only the real murderer could know these facts. So I called the writer and said 'You did it.' We then went to clean a few things up. There were things in it that were so glaringly wrong -- I decided not to correct them, because I knew one day, you would always have somebody saying this is a real confession -– which it wasn’t. So there are some things in there and anybody who wanted to take a closer look at it will see that.”
On how he was paid: “There was a payment to me, and what was supposed to be the largest portion of it was handled by a corporation that my kids were involved in. They do stand to have a financial windfall....C’mon guys, let’s grow up. Will everybody stop being so naïve? Of course I got paid. I spent the money on my bills. It’s gone…I have a right to earn money if I can earn money. I don’t know why everybody is so confused about this.”
On whether this project is reopening old wounds for the victims' families and the nation: "Don’t ever be led to believe this opened up old wounds. Every month, the Goldmans are on TV opening up those old wounds. My pity -- I used to feel sorry for them, but guess what? I feel sorry for the football player’s family that got shot. I feel sorry for the bodybags that I see coming to this local area from Iraq. You can only feel sorry for one family so long. There’s been a lot of deaths, a lot of unsolved murders, a lot of tragedy in America in the last 12 years. Goldmans and them, they gotta stop being professional victims. There’s other people in this world that are suffering from other things. My family’s suffered. Nicole was the love of my life. I’ve suffered.
"I didn’t kill them – no matter what anybody else wants to say, I didn’t do it. Every book that was written about that – every blood book that was written by every lawyer and every family member and everybody close to that trial, is hypothetical. It’s hypothetical and its blood money – I said it in that Fox interview, before everybody complained. I agree with Goldman. I was hoping the book would never sell. I said it in the interview."
On people calling him a sociopath: "I was having a conversation with my lawyer…I said to him, when did this egomania and this sociopath (stuff start) – is it like catching the flu? Is it like catching herpes or something? I went 47 years of my life – I was called anything but that. Everybody who ever played ball with me said, 'No, he spread the wealth. He’s generous. He always gives credit to anybody else.' As you know...my reputation was impeccable. As a team player, everybody I worked for…now all I hear the Goldmans and everybody say is, 'He’s an egomaniac and he’s a sociopath.'"
On why people are still angry about the murders and his 1995 acquittal: "It goes down to one thing: race. We all know that everybody wants to look the other way. You know darn well if Nicole and Ron were black, we wouldn’t be dealing with this situation. Michael Richard's comments will be forgotten a lot sooner than the Mel Gibson comments. They will never forgive him – the Jewish people will never forgive (Gibson) – and this country will hold him accountable a lot longer than they’re going to hold Michael Richards accountable.”
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