"If I Did It," the still-unpublished book in which O.J. Simpson writes in disturbing detail about how he might have killed ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, was Simpson's daughter's idea, ABC News Law & Justice Unit has learned.
Simpson's eldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, came up with the concept for the book along with a friend, Raffles Van Exel, according to a deposition she gave this week.
Meanwhile, a Florida federal bankruptcy judge awarded the rights to the book to the family of victim Ronald Goldman on Friday, clearing the way for Goldman's father to auction off the rights to the book to the highest bidder and keep the money as part of a multi-million dollar wrongful death civil judgement his family won against Simpson back in 1997.
Ms. Simpson said in the deposition that she took the idea to her father. He told her, "I have to think about it,'' she testified, but eventually he agreed.
She said she then went to Simpson attorney Leonardo Starke.
"I need help,'' she tesitified she told the lawyer. "This book deal has come to me to give to my dad. How do I go about making it legit?"
Goldman believes Simpson is using the company, which is headed by Arnelle Simpson, to shield his money. Though the company is apparently bankrupt, the rights to the book could be worth millions.
On Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Jay Cristol ordered Arnelle Simpson and her father's attorney, Leonardo Starke, to give depositions by week's end in a hearing to settle a bankruptcy filing made by Lorraine Brooks Associates, the company that received the money for the book from News Corp. and its book publishing subsidiary, HarperCollins. The name of the company comes from the middle names of Simpson's two youngest children, his lawyers have said.
Cristol ruled on Friday that L.B.A. can be considered as belonging to Simpson and therefore is obliged to turn over the rights to "If I Did It'' to the Goldman family, which reportedly will rename the book "Confessions of a Double Murder.''
Lorraine Brooke Associates was "clearly accomplished to perpetuate a fraud," Cristol said, according to the Associated Press.
But before the hearing last week Kendrick Whittle, Arnelle Simpson's bankruptcy attorney, vigorously disagreed, arguing that the Goldman claim could only be held against O.J. Simpson, not LBA, and that any legal and financial claims against LBA would only punish Arnelle Simpson.
"If the court found 'surrogate' to mean that LBA and O.J. were one in the same, everyone that was trying to get to O.J. would go through his daughter. It would set an absurd precedent."
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder charges in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but the families of the victims won a civil judgment against Simpson in 1997 for the wrongful death of the pair. The Goldmans were awarded about $19 million.
Goldman's attorneys argue that over time interest has accrued and that the judgment is now worth about $40 million, a contention hotly disputed by Simpson's personal attorney Yale Galanter.They have told ABC News they contacted Hollywood studios, publishing houses and talent agencies to alert them to the auction.
Pollock said that Arnelle Simpson testified in her deposition that she and Van Exel, president of Raffles Entertainment and Music Production, came up with the idea for the book and pitched it to her dad.