OJ goes for runaway best-seller

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The Independent Online
Washington - The American publishing house of Little, Brown and Company usually handles such highbrow literary fare as C S Forester, Evelyn Waugh and Louisa May Alcott. So its decision to add O J Simpson, accused of two murders, to the list has c aused considerable surprise, writes Phil Reeves.

Yesterday Fred Goldman, the father of one of Mr Simpson's alleged victims, reacted furiously to reports that the accused is to publish a book next month, called I Want To Tell You. He described it as another "disgusting" example of the multi-million dollar industry that is cashing in on the death of his son, Ronald, who was killed in June alongside Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole.

According to the New York Times, Mr Simpson sees the book as his reply to the 300,000 letters he has received in jail while awaiting the start of his trial, which is expected to begin within the next few weeks. It will, the paper says, discuss the allegations against him of spousal abuse, and seek to assert his overall innocence.

The first print run is expected to be 500,000 copies, which seem likely to be snapped up by a public which remains obsessed with the case. But it is also part of an aggressive publicity campaign to clear his name.

It is unclear how much Mr Simpson will be paid for the book, being written in collaboration with Lawrence Schiller, who worked with Norman Mailer on his Pulitzer prize-winning Executioner's Song, although it seems certain to be well into seven figures. Charles Heyward, president of Little, Brown and Company, is quoted as saying: "As publishers, I think we have a responsibility to publish a broad spectrum of opinions and points of view."

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