Want Greta's blog delivered directly to your e-mail box? Click here to sign up!
Tonight the show airs from Florida.
If you are like many Americans, you are hitting the road this week because it is a holiday. If we (yes, all of us) had any brains, we would figure out a way to stagger our holiday travels so that we were not all doing it at once. The roads and airports are chaotic this week. If you are staying home this week and avoiding the headache of travel, you may be the smart one!
Now to the topic of O.J. Simpson's book. I had very little interest in the new book when I first read about it in the newspaper. I have covered the Simpson case so much over the years that the story no longer had much that interested me. However, I admit my interest grew (reignited?) as more and more people began talking about the new Simpson book... and especially about the upcoming interview Simpson gave to his publisher Judith Regan, which airs later this month.
Interest can be contagious, but my interest did not spike until the publisher, Judith Regan, released a statement as to why she published it. Her statement of why she published the new Simpson book is long. I think the content of her statement is unusual… very unusual. I have posted it below to get your opinion.
As an aside, I know Judith, but not very well. I know her professionally and not socially. She has been the publisher for many authors who I know or who I have interviewed. She also had a show on FOX News Channel when I first joined FOX five years ago.
Here is Judith's statement:
REGAN: 'I DID NOT PAY OJ'
Thu Nov 16 2006 20:07:38 ET
Full Statement From Publisher Judith Regan:
Why I Did It
I was sitting with Howard Stern, of all people, when the verdict came down. Many of you probably remember where you were at that moment. It was a moment I, like so many others, was dreading.
Because, I knew that the “killer,” as Kim Goldman so eloquently named him, would be acquitted. I knew it from my own experience.
Conviction is what I wanted-and not just in the legal sense.
I wanted it because I had once been that young woman who loved with all of her heart and believed in the goodness of man, the trusting girl who fell for the guy, who believed in the beauty of romance, the power of love, the joy of family and the miracle of motherhood. Like Nicole Brown, I believed with all my heart . . . and then got punched in the face.
On that day, October 3, 1995, as Howard and I sat watching the television with a conference room full of people, I said, “He’ll be acquitted.” I said it out loud, and the others in the room looked at me in a way I’d been looked at before: “Oh, God. She’s crazy.”
But I knew it, because I’d been there. I’d listened to the lies (“She hit herself’), watched him charm the police (“Sir, I don’t know why she’s saying this”), endured the ignorance of one cop who looked at me with disdain and said “You must like it,” and couldn’t understand why they didn’t believe me.
That man was tall, dark, and handsome. A great athlete. A brilliant mind. He was even a doctor, with an M.D. after his name and a degree that came with an oath: “First, do no harm.” He was one of the brightest men I’d ever met. And he could charm anyone. He charmed me. We had a child. And then he knocked me out, with a blow to my head, and sent me to the hospital.
He manipulated, lied, and broke my heart.
And then, after all but leaving me for dead in a hospital, where his daughter died a few days later, he left for good.
So as I watched this new scene play itself out, I knew that this man-the killer, as Kim calls him-would be acquitted. I’d seen it before: The men in court, dressed in their designer suits, blaming the women they attacked. I’d seen, firsthand, the “criminal injustice system,” as I called it in my twenties-the system that let him go one night after assaulting me so he could come right back and do it again.
I had my witnesses, thank God, or no one would have believed me. But he, too, had his fans, the ones who could not believe that a man that smart, that good-looking, and that successful “would ever do anything like that.”
“Why,” one of my own family members said in one of the many denials I’d heard, “would someone like him do that to you? Why? And if he did, you must have done something to provoke him.” I’d heard it all.
So when the verdict came down, I watched the faces in the room freeze in shock.
“I told you,” I said, and left the room.
The Trial of the Century, as it was called, was not just a moment for me, it was a seminal moment in American history. The curtain was pulled back on the issues of domestic violence, police corruption, and racism-on both sides. And when the final curtain fell, it fell on the killer, as he is known, providing a protective shield from the consequences of his grievous act.
Conviction, or lack thereof, is the story of the trial of the century. Where was that sense of conviction when racist police officers abused and battered their victims? Where was that sense of conviction when Nicole Brown was being battered and people stood by and let him get away with it time and time again? Where was it when NBC kept him on the air when they were sure to know? Where was it when the Browns lost custody of the children, who were sent to be raised by the narcissist who killed their mother? Where was it when Fred Goldman, who lost his beautiful son, won a civil judgment, but was unable to collect it?
Where was it?
I never lost my desire for his conviction. And if Marcia Clark couldn’t do it. I sure wanted to try.
In the past few days, since the announcement of the forthcoming book and televised interview If I Did It, it has been strange watching the media spin the story. They have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him. A death, I might add, not called for when Katie Couric interviewed him; not called for when Barbara Walters had an exclusive with the Menendez brothers, who killed their parents in cold blood, nor when she conducted her celebrated interviews with dictator Fidel Castro or Muammar al-Gaddafi; not called for when 60 Minutes interviewed Timothy McVeigh who murdered hundreds in Oklahoma City, not called for when the U.S. government released tapes of Osama bin Laden; not called for when Geraldo Rivera interviewed his dozens of murderers, miscreants, and deviants.
Nor should it be.
“To publish” does not mean “to endorse”; it means “to make public.” If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf in print to this day. They are likely to say that there is a historical value in publishing such material, so that the public can read, and judge for themselves, the thoughts and attempted defenses of an indefensible man. There is historical value in such work; there is value for law enforcement, for students of psychology, for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath.
But that is not why I did it. That is not why I wanted to face the killer. That is not why I wanted to publish his story.
I didn’t know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess. I didn’t know what would happen. But I knew one thing. I wanted the confession for my own selfish reasons and for the symbolism of that act.
For me, it was personal.
My son is now twenty-five years old, my daughter fifteen. I wanted them, and everyone else, to have a chance to see that there are consequences to grievous acts. That the consequences of pain and suffering will ultimately be brought upon its perpetrators. And I wanted, as so many victims do, to hear him say “I did it and I am sorry.”
I didn’t know if he would. But I wanted to try. I wanted his confession.
I wanted the acknowledgment, not for me but for my son, so I could turn to him and say, “I’m sorry that he was not a father to you. I’m sorry that he could not teach you what it means to be a man. And, finally, he’s sorry too.”
When I was a girl, a young, innocent, and believing girl, my parents made me go to confession. I didn’t always like to go. It was spooky going into the dark confessional booths, where I was told to say my penance for my sins and to recite The Act of Contrition.
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. And I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I offend thee my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.
To confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.
I was seven or eight years old at the time, and I had no idea what I was saying or doing. But I do now.
I made the decision to publish this book, and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him, and the men who broke my heart and your hearts, to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance and to amend their lives.
I have not spent a lifetime in the study of deception detection, but ex-CIA specialist Phil Houston has. “When killers confess,” he told me, “the way they often do it is by creating a hypothetical”-and then they spill their guts.
For many of them, it is the only way to tell the truth.
I thought of this and the many books I’ve published over the years on the subject of sociopaths and their lack of empathy (Without Conscience and Snakes in Suits). And I thought about The Mind & The Brain, a book about the power of the human will. Is such behavior the result of a genetic flaw? Could it be caused by a head injury? Is it the result of a weak and damaged human will? Was this man suffering from a sort of emotional autism?
How did it happen? How could a man with so much have so little? And how could we, as a society, continue to protect him and others from the consequences of his wrongdoing?
I don’t know why he did it-why he did the book, and sat for the interview. Was it his own disturbed need for attention? Did he have remorse? Was he ready to come clean and make amends and do his penance? I wouldn’t know until I sat down in a chair across from him.
What I do know is I didn’t pay him. I contracted through a third party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children. That much I could live with.
What I wanted was closure, not money.
I had never met him and never spoken with him until the day I interviewed him. And I was ready. Fifty-three years prepared me for this conversation.
The men who lied and cheated and beat me-they were all there in the room. And the people who denied it, they were there too. And though it might sound a little strange, Nicole and Ron were in my heart. And for them I wanted him to confess his sins, to do penance and to amend his life. Amen.
We live in a world right now where hatred and vengeance is a way of life.
And as the killer sat before me I was not filled with vengeance or hatred. I thought of the man who had beaten me so many years ago, who left me in a hospital, the man who broke my child’s heart. And I listened carefully.
And what went through my mind surprised me. Mental illness. Thought process disorder. No empathy. Malignant narcissism.
In the years to come, I hope we will have a better understanding of this type of disordered personality. Are certain people simply born that way? If not, what goes wrong that changes them? How does this happen? And why?
I took on this project with the belief that his life must be a constant torture, a kind of hell. And I wondered: In his confession, however he chose to state it, would he do his penance, could he amend his life? Could he say he was sorry?
I thought back to Christmas Eve, a few years ago. The man who broke my heart was now standing on my doorstep, shaking. He talked about my son, now in his twenties, and told me I’d done a great job raising him alone.
During the years that I was running from work to homework, from my office to every school play, assembly, swim meet or parent conference, he never showed up for a single thing. While I was raising my son, he had lived a high life and then lost everything. He ended up in prison, lost his medical license, lost many of his worldly possessions, lost his looks and now, most of the women who once cared had gone, too.
And he was losing his mind. His hand was shaking violently. He had Parkinson’s disease, and was a broken man. He looked at me. The girl he’d left in the gutter had raised two children alone, had built a successful company, and was now a happy woman.
“I guess you think I’m getting my comeuppance,” he said.
And strangely I didn’t. That a man who had so much could throw it all away and fall so low-it gave me no pleasure.
I was sad for my son, sad for the women he’d left behind, sad for the mother and siblings he’d disappointed and I was sad for him that he’d missed the opportunity to live a beautiful life.
When I sat face to face with the killer, I wanted him to confess, to release us all from the wound of the conviction that was lost on that fall day in October of 1995.
For the girl who was left in the gutter, I wanted to make it right.
All right, since it is Monday... how about a quiz?
Here is a two-question quiz: Which is incorrect?
A. Everyone has his opinion.
B. Everyone has their opinion.
C. Everyone has his or her opinion.
D. Everyone has her opinion.
And a second question: Which is correct?
E. Neither Jack nor Jill wants a cat.
F. Neither Jack nor Jill want a cat.
Now for some e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
Re the attempt to differentiate the various components of the News Corp — BALONEY !!
Fox is Fox and they all contribute to the common bottom line which is the name of the game.
First, I don't believe anyone with an ounce of personal integrity will watch the Simpson charade; second, I don't believe any company with any corporate integrity would allow one of their divisions to produce and broadcast it; and finally I agree with poster McMasters - I will cease watching ALL of the News Corps channels. Sure I'll miss a few interesting programs and some baseball and football games, but that is a price I'm will to incur to retain my self-respect, something that is sorely missing at News Corp.
ANSWER: Yes, FOX Broadcast and FOX News Channel are owned by the same company (Newscorp.) From the tone of your e-mail, I doubt you will believe it when I tell you that FOX Broadcast has no bearing on my programming decisions on FOX News Channel and that I have no impact on the programming at FOX Broadcast so I will not attempt to do so.
E-mail No. 2
I maybe the only person on earth that thinks O.J. just may not be guilty, maybe the life style his wife had led may have caught up with her, I am very sorry for her that something so terrible had happened to her, but like I said her life style was made of troubled people. If O.J did not do it no wonder he acts as he does, it would make anyone almost crazy being accused of something they did not do, especially murder
Ohio (GO BUCKS)
E-mail No. 3
Let me start by saying I hope you get an interview with Judith Regan. I just finished reading Judith Regan's Statement. I would personally like to thank Ms. Regan for her "conviction", her "selfish reasons", her ability to "make it personal" and her realization of "the symbolism of that act." There's an old saying, "Don't kill the messenger!"
I am all to familiar with the victim not trusting law enforcement, the "criminal injustice system", and the fact that the verdict is left up to 12 "peers" who have to sit through the circus act and sideshows of the court process. The defense team in the Orenthal James Simpson trial knew the right "peers" to select to get the acquittal in the turmoil ridden law enforcement and court system in LA. Judith was able to lift up the real curtain in that circus and sideshow performance to bring the final act to truth and justice. I too had placed Nicole and Ron in my heart back in June 1994 so it wasn't strange reading that Judith had them in her heart when she sat face to face with their killer. I'm sensing Johnnie Cochran was somewhere strangely waiting in that room for the final curtain call too! Judith showed the glove fit! Good Luck in securing an interview!
E-mail No. 4
I actually believed him to be innocent at first. After watching the clip you showed where he learns the jury finds him innocent, I thought of Scott Peterson. They really are sociopaths... in denial.
E-mail No. 5
The person that I would love to hear you interview would be Nicole's daughter. I would love to hear her opinions. This would be a book that I would buy. I cannot believe the story that the children wanted O.J. to do this interview and book.
I am very disturbed that an individual that was found guilty in a civil case, can profit financially from committing a double murder. I certainly will boycott any companies that advertise during the airing of the Simpson interview.
Love your show!!
E-mail No. 6
What about poor Fred Goldman? Have you all forgotten that he & his family also lost a loved one to O.J. Simpson's brutal murder rampage? I am so tired of all of you constantly crying about the "poor Simpson children" & how any acquired monies should go to them! How about a little compassion & coverage for Fred Goldman & his daughter, Kim? One look at your film clips of their faces when the innocent verdict was read 12 yrs. ago & you will see truly unbelievable sorrow. How about mentioning them once in a while & the fact that they too deserve monies the civil court awarded them & of which they have not yet received a dime? The Simpson kids will always be taken care of financially.
E-mail No. 7
PLEASE help all of us have our word heard and do what you can to stop the airing of the O.J. interview.
E-mail No. 8
I watched the O.J. trial on TV, and still don't understand why the glove fit is still a mystery. The gloves were snug to start with. The gloves had been exposed to the dew, causing the leather to shrink some. The coefficient of friction caused by the latex gloves made a snug fit an impossible fit. As soon as it happened I tried on a pair of gloves over latex, they did not fit.
The murder - I understand that 2 weeks prior to the murder, OJ had been training with some Navy Seals for an upcoming movie. If after that he could not have quickly and quietly killed two people with a knife, he was a slow learner.
Seals and Marines learn to do that stuff as a part of doing their business.
U.S.M.C. Military Policeman
E-mail No. 9
Has O.J. given one thought about the effect this book will have on his children... he is an ass and FOX network should not air his interview. Who at FOX network approved this hurtful and harmful interview from a madman.
S. E. Marsh
CDR, USN (ret.)
Send your thoughts and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch "On the Record" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET