Trustee gets O.J.'s book rights

Published May 18, 2007

MIAMI - An independent trustee will maintain control over a bankrupt company, owned by O.J. Simpson's children, which holds the rights to the canceled Simpson book If I Did It, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol paves the way for the family of murder victim Ron Goldman to negotiate a deal to acquire the rights to the manuscript. In the book, Simpson explains how he might have committed the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman.

The book has been the subject of a legal battle between the former NFL star and Goldman's family. HarperCollins planned to publish it but canceled the deal following public outrage. The company Lorraine Brooke Associates, which names Simpson's oldest daughter Arnelle as its head, retains the rights to it.

Arnelle Simpson had sought to reorganize Lorraine Brooke, which would have allowed her to maintain temporary control over it and possibly ensure that the book would not be sold to the Goldman family.

Cristol ruled that the company was in no position to be reorganized and should be liquidated.

"The single potential asset for sale is apparently something that is deeply embroiled in litigation and would likely not be available for sale any time soon, " Cristol said.

Goldman's family alleges the company was simply a front for Simpson, who owes them $33.5-million under a wrongful death civil lawsuit, so he could hide an advance and potential royalties.

Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995.

Simpson got $630, 000 out of a net $660, 000 Lorraine Brooke received from Harper Collins, according to court documents.