O.J. Schemes for Profit
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
O.J. Simpson's "hypothetical" murder confession book and the TV show that promotes it are generating some big bucks.
The dirty little secret, though, is that the deal may have been set up so that O.J. could avoid having any of the money go to the more than $30 million he owes pursuant to the wrongful death judgment from his civil case.
Although it has been widely reported that the book deal earned Simpson $3.5 million, publisher Judith Regan said that she hasn't paid any of the advance to O.J.
Regan released a statement that said, "I contracted through a third-party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children."
The third party appears to be an arrangement to circumvent O.J.'s judgment creditors, the Ronald Goldman family.
Since the father of Ron Goldman has authorized his lawyers to go after any money Simpson gets for the book, it's a safe bet that the Goldmans' attorney, Jonathan Polak, will be petitioning the court to reveal the identity of the third party and the exact nature of Simpson's compensation.
Several Fox affiliates have chosen not to broadcast the two-part special in which O.J. Simpson talks hypothetically about killing his ex-wife and her friend.
Lin Broadcasting and Pappas Broadcasting own a combined nine Fox television stations. The two companies have indicated that they will not air the TV special.
The television show is a transparent promo for the book of the same name, which is scheduled to be released one day after the second part of the program is aired.
"After careful consideration regarding the nature of the show, as well as the feedback we received from the viewers of northeast Wisconsin, we determined that this programming was not serving the local public interest," Jay Zollar, general manager of WLUK-TV in Green Bay said in a written statement.
So far the other towns that will be spared the Simpson sensationalism are Mobile, Ala.; Toledo, Ohio; Albuquerque, N.M.; Providence, R.I.; Omaha and Lincoln, Neb.; Fresno, Calif.; and Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Curiously, the Simpson show is scheduled to air on the last nights of the November sweeps.
Fox may need some sweeps ratings since it's currently missing the stronger shows that start in January, like "24" and "American Idol."
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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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