Goldman, Brown Families Feud Over O.J. Simpson Book

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," August 28, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, O.J. Simpson trouble again. Well, sort of. It does involve his notorious "If I Did It" book. Well, sort of. It's really not Simpson's book anymore. He wrote it, but the family of murder victim Ron Goldman own the rights now, and they are planning to publish it. But no Simpson news is without fireworks, and now there is a showdown with Denise Brown, sister of murder victim Nicole Brown Simpson.


DENISE BROWN, SISTER OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON: Unfortunately, with all the recent developments surrounding the "If I Did It" book, I've decided not to appear on the Oprah show with the Goldmans. And we are still talking with the Oprah show, but it will not be with them, with the Goldmans. At the time of accepting this proposition from Oprah, a publisher was not yet established and publication was still pending. I still hoped that the Goldmans could be swayed from public outcry. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The Browns nor the Goldmans wanted this appalling book to be published in the first place. And it was written because it was written by the man that murdered Nicole and Ron. There was an opportunity for the Goldmans and I to give our differing points of view and also have a reaction from the public to give their point of view. The American public has spoken and continues to speak loud and clear on a petition and a blog that we have at

Since then, the Goldmans have retained a publisher, who is rushing to get this book published as we speak and willing to market this book. And thus, it's made it impossible for me to go on the Oprah show with the Goldmans. First of all, and the most important thing is that I'm here for Nicole's children, for Sydney and Justin. The publishing of this book would send them back into the center of the storm when this murder first happened, this horrific incident in these children's lives 13 years ago.

Second, and for anyone to make available the words of a man who is a lying, murdering sociopath and a batterer, for anyone who was willing to publish something like this, I was up for that fight. I was ready to stand up and say and voice my opinion how disgusted I was to have this book see the light of day.

But my intentions today have been clear from the beginning. The Goldmans, they're the ones that have flip-flopped their story.

Originally, we did not want this book to see the light of day, and this is where I still stand. The Goldmans have turned our world upside-down by their unfathomable actions.

My work will continue to speak out for victims caught in the dynamics of domestic violence, and I'm here to save lives and to keep my promise to my sister, Nicole, so that she did not die in vain.

Fred, please do not publish this book. Don't awaken the nightmare that we have all lived for the last 13 years. Take Simpson for every penny that he is worth without the publication of this book. He's getting moneys from the video game. He's going after that. He's getting — you know, he gets little pennies here and there, I mean, a thousand here, a thousand there. OK. Keep going after that, but don't publish this book.


VAN SUSTEREN: In Tampa is Fred Goldman's lawyer, David Cook. Nice to see you, David.

DAVID COOK, ATTORNEY FOR FRED GOLDMAN: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: David, your reaction and your client's reaction to Denise Brown's statements?

COOK: Well, first of all, we certainly respect Denise Brown's fervor. We certainly respect her single-mindedness. But the victors in the publication of the book will be the children. This will be the sole source of recompense for these two children. Mr. Simpson has never accepted responsibility for the two murders. He has never compensated them. And from where we sit, this will be the only money these two children will ever receive for their loss.

I also hasten to add that these two children, with the other two children, were the founders of the Lorraine Brook (ph) Associates, which held the original — which held title to the book, and the children themselves would have received millions of dollars had this book been published in 2006.

We also have strong evidence that they knew of the entirety of the book and were vibrant participants in this process here. So yes, we certainly respect her ardor. We respect her sentiments. We think the story — the – (INAUDIBLE) the issue of domestic violence needs a louder volume. But the book is and will be published, and the children will be the direct beneficiaries of it, as Judge Crystal (ph) ruled.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, David — you know, it's sort of interesting. As I listen to you, it's almost as though you took the bait from Denise on money because I've known Fred Goldman for a number of years. In fact, in the very beginning, he certainly was not very fond of me. And I always sort of got the — I always sort of had the thought that Fred wanted to publish this because he has been — this has been his mission because, you know, his son was murdered. And I never thought this was about money, but to make a point. And to get this out, I thought he was going to change the content. I actually thought, you know — I mean — I mean, I think he's entitled to money (INAUDIBLE) get it, but I actually thought there was a little bit more to this than money for him.

COOK: Well, there is...

VAN SUSTEREN: I thought this was purpose and principle.

COOK: There is a principle involved. And the principle involved in this case is multi-fold. First of all, it's not the same book that we would have seen in 2006. Also, that people themselves can read the book, read Mr. Simpson's words and understand how horrible and how horrific an individual this person is.

The moneys are going to the Simpson — to the Goldman family. They're going to a foundation by the name of Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice and ultimately to these children. So the book has and will be published. And of course, it will serve many purposes on many goals.

VAN SUSTEREN: I sort of also thought that, you know, Fred was very distressed by O.J. Simpson going out there with sort of a flip, cavalier attitude, "If I Did It." And I actually thought that Fred fought so hard for this, to get the ownership of the book, so that he could, you know, turn it around into something — you know, something very different. Let me ask you one other question.

COOK: And it will be.

VAN SUSTEREN: And (INAUDIBLE) and I expect that it will be. This Oprah interview, who arranged that? How did that happen?

COOK: Well, that was probably arranged by the — among others, the literary agent and/or publicist. This is, as you know, a commercial process. So there are professionals who ultimately arranged this, and Oprah was obviously kind enough to make this available to us. And of course, the Goldman family look forward to it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Was Denise ever on board on this proposition of getting the rights to this book?

COOK: I was the major participant, and the answer is no. But on the other hand, we've run into the lawyers for the estate on multiple occasions, and they've been pounding that table hard and aggressively for a bigger share of the proceeds. I think that's truly what the story is about here.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I think that we should explain to the viewers, in case they're sort of lost in the translation, funds from this will go to the two estates, which would be Ron Goldman's and Nicole Brown Simpson, and the two children of O.J. Simpson as heirs to that estate, they technically get their share, however it is divvied up. So it actually does go to the children.

COOK: That's correct. And there was a contested hearing before Judge Crystal in bankruptcy court over precisely these issues, and Judge Crystal, as we say, the court of equity, made a considered decision here.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Thank you, David.

COOK: Thank you very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: John Q. Kelly, the lawyer for Nicole Brown Simpson's estate, joins us from New York. Nice to see you, John.


VAN SUSTEREN: John, in terms of the estate, have you spoken to Lou and Juditha, the parents of Nicole Brown Simpson? And I think the father was the executor of the estate, is that right?

KELLY: Sure. I actually talked to Lou and Judy at some length today. And you know — Greta, you know, I — they're lovely people. I love Lou and Judy. And all they've ever cared about is being the best grandparents and parents they could possibly be. And the one thing they never wanted is for this book to be published, and all they want to do is protect these children.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of — I mean, I don't know how you protect them. I mean, any place you go — I mean, isn't it a little bit late? It's almost silly to think that this book could be so damning. I mean, every place they go, they hear stuff about their father. They can see it in tabloids even today.

As I understand, Fred was going to sort of re-craft it, since he now owns it, and actually it would be far more unfavorable to his father than - - I mean, to their father than what their father wanted to publish, and it would have been out there under their father's name.

KELLY: Well, I think the simple answer would have been, you know, Simpson should never should have opened that door in the first place. But you're right, you can't unring the bell.

You know, ever since this issue arose about the publication of the book, you know, it's been an issue out there. And the children have been listening to this. Whether the book came out or didn't come out, it's been in the news for months now.

It's painful. The — you know, Lou and Juditha are heartbroken about this. You know, Denise has always been very protective of the children, also. And you know, she's being a very strong advocate and she is toeing the line and she does not want this book published...

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what, though?

KELLY: ... rightfully so.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Fred — Fred Goldman, though, to take his place (INAUDIBLE) is that O.J. Simpson has thumbed his nose at Fred Goldman. Fred Goldman's son was the consummate good Samaritan, bringing the glasses home. And for the last, you know, 13 or however many years it's been, O.J. even moved to another state to avoid paying the judgment. And he has been nothing but — and also making, you know, sort of smart- alec remarks to Fred. You know, Fred's not going to get a dime, or whatever. I mean, this was sort of, you know, Fred's one opportunity to sort of, you know, in his heart to sort of at least turn things a little differently for him. And the money — the money goes to the children and to Fred and actually to Ron's mother.

KELLY: You know what? Fred lost his son in a vicious murder.


KELLY: And he saw the killer walk free. You know, I spent about a year with Fred in close quarters. I know his pain. I know his anger. And I'm not going to sit in judgment of him or anything he decides to do. You can't walk in those shoes. You can't experience what he's been through. And you know, all I can say is that, you know, the Browns want to protect these children. They have a differing opinion on this particular issue and...

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask a quick question.


VAN SUSTEREN: Did the Browns join in to try to get a portion of the proceeds?

KELLY: At the — Lou had to. It was his fiduciary duty as executor...


VAN SUSTEREN: He put his two feet into it, and then when he didn't get the — here's how it looks, John. He didn't get the share that he wanted, so now, all of a sudden, sour grapes, We want out, and Fred's done all the heavy lifting. That's how it looks.

KELLY: No, that's not true. The kids are going to get a portion of 10 percent. The Goldman estate will get 90 percent. But Lou jumped in at the very end because the estate had to take a position. But you know, as I said, their first concern, talking to them as parents and grandparents and nothing to do with money or the proceeds from the book, they want to protect the kids. They don't want the book published. And you know, they want these children to somehow have a normal life going forward.

VAN SUSTEREN: John, as always, thank you.

KELLY: Sure, Greta.

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