Canceled Simpson Book May Spark Lawsuit

ByABC News
December 18, 2006, 4:01 AM

Dec. 18, 2006 — -- Judith Regan and executives from HarperCollins and News Corp. may be deposed as part of a lawsuit that could be filed this week by the family of murder victim Ron Goldman.

One attorney described it as an attempt to "get to the bottom" of the internal decision-making process surrounding the aborted publication of "If I Did It," O.J. Simpson's hypothetical tell-all on how he would have killed his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Goldman.

Last month, the publication of the book and the broadcast of an interview with Regan and Simpson that was set to air on Fox Broadcasting, the sister company of HarperCollins, were canceled after public backlash and criticism within Fox from Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera.

HarperCollins fired Regan on Friday after the controversy.

The lawsuit would likely be based on the legal premise of "fraudulent transfer," which in this case would contend that News Corp. executives knowingly conspired to assist Simpson in subverting a civil judgment against him.

In 1995, Simpson was found not guilty of murder in the slayings of his wife and Goldman in a criminal case.

However, a jury in a 1997 civil lawsuit found him liable for the deaths and awarded the Goldman and Brown families $33.5 million.

Both families have not been able to collect money from the judgment, and Simpson has publicly and consistently refused to abide by the terms of the settlement.

Goldman attorney Jonathan Polak told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit that his clients remained committed to pursuing the judgment and seeking to hold those who do business with Simpson responsible.

"It is my personal belief that Regan's termination was made out of an absolute recognition by News Corp. that she did something wrong, not just morally, but perhaps also legally," Polak said.

"We are going to get to the bottom of who did what, when and how. In all likelihood, there's going to be some very interesting depositions that people, I think, are going to find very compelling," Polak said.