Under a barrage of criticism, Judith Regan says she published O.J. Simpson’s book “If I Did It” because she was a victim of domestic violence and thought the proceeds would go to Simpson’s children.
In an eight-page statement released Friday, Regan said Simpson approached her with the idea for the book, in which he hypothesizes how he would have committed the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess,” Regan said in the statement titled “Why I Did It.” “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.”
Although Regan has acknowledged that Simpson does not directly say he killed the pair, she said she considers the book to be his confession.
“My son is now 25 years old, my daughter 15,” said Regan’s statement. “I wanted them, and everyone else, to have a chance to see that there are consequences to grievous acts. ... 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,” she wrote. “But I wanted to try. I wanted his confession.”
Regan said she did not pay Simpson for the book. “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,” she wrote.
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder in the 1994 slayings after a highly charged trial. The former National Football League star was later found liable in a wrongful-death suit filed by the Goldman family but has failed to pay the $33.5 million judgment.
Regan said the book was a way to undo the “criminal injustice system” that let her own abuser go free.
She said she was abused while in her 20s by a man “who could charm anyone” and with whom she had a child. “And then he knocked me out, with a blow to my head and sent me to the hospital,” she said. She said police initially didn’t believe her story.
“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,” she said.
“If I Did It,” published by ReganBooks — an imprint to Harper Collins, is scheduled for release Nov. 30. Fox is airing a two-part TV interview of Simpson on Nov. 27 and 29. Harper Collins and Fox are owned by News Corp.
After word of the book emerged, Regan wrote, she’s watched as the media “have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him.”
“To publish does not mean ’to endorse’; it means ’to make public,”’ she said.
“If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler’s ’Mein Kampf’ in print to this day. ... There is historical value in such work ... for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath.”