O.J. Simpson lashed out Tuesday at the family of the late Ronald Goldman, a day after they won the rights to Simpson’s canceled “If I Did It” book about the slayings of Goldman and Simpson’s ex-wife.
In an online interview featuring questions from hostile participants, the former football star criticized Goldman’s family for seeking to profit from the book after they said it promoted criminality and commercialized abuse.
A federal bankruptcy judge in Miami awarded the book rights to Goldman’s family Monday to satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against Simpson.
“I find it sort of hypocritical that they talked everybody in America to boycott the book: it was ‘immoral,’ it was ‘blood money,’” he told interviewer Kate Delaney. “But we now see it wasn’t ‘blood money’ if they got the money.”
Goldman attorney David Cook said his clients were justified in accepting rights to the book as payment for the judgment against Simpson.
“Mr. Simpson himself has placed us in this horrific setting of seeking to liquidate this asset,” he said. “His comments are beyond redemption.”
Simpson has maintained his innocence in the killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Goldman in 1994. Simpson, who now lives near Miami, was acquitted of murder in 1995 but lost lawsuits to both families.
The book, in which Simpson reportedly explains how he might have committed the killings, was never released because of public outrage.
Simpson used much of Tuesday’s interview broadcast on business news Web site Market News First to reiterate that he maintained many fans and supporters, a fact he accused the media of obscuring.
But he found little support from members of the call-in audience, whose derisive phoned-in questions he avoided answering at times.
One caller asked the former football player if he thought it was “a bigger feat to break 2,000 yards in one season or slice two necks in one night.”
Simpson seemed not to hear the question, which interviewer Delaney reinterpreted for him as, “What was your biggest accomplishment, basically, in football?”
The made-for-Internet studio environment was considerably more austere than that of his last major TV appearance, when he was interviewed for NBC by Katie Couric in 2004.
On several occasions, Simpson and Delaney sat silent. At another point, he called toward an off-camera section of the studio, “Hey, please close that door, guys.”
Dallas-based Market News First said Simpson was not paid for his hourlong appearance, the first of four to be broadcast throughout the week.
Simpson said in the interview that he agreed to participate because the Web site’s staff made him feel like he would be able to express “what’s really been going on,” rather than being “cross examined.”
“Sometimes you want to have a voice,” he said. “I’m tired of people talking for me.”