Right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch has portrayed his decision to cancel the O.J. Simpson book and interview as a principled stand, calling it an “ill-considered project.” But new details seriously undermine that claim.
An executive from Murdoch’s News Corporation told the New York Times that the rights to the Simpson’s book “could still be sold to another publisher,” meaning that Murdoch would still profit from the project. And this morning on NBC’s Today Show, Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister Denise accused News Corp. of trying to buy her family’s silence for “millions of dollars.”
They wanted to offer us millions of dollars. Millions of dollars for, like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry’ money. But they were still going to air the show. … We just thought, ‘oh my god.’ What they’re trying to do is trying to keep us quiet, trying to make this like hush money, trying to go around the civil verdict, giving us this money to keep our mouths shut.
AP reports that spokesman for News Corp. “confirmed that the company had conversations with representatives of Nicole Brown Simpson’s and Ron Goldman’s families over the past week and that the families were offered all profits from the planned Simpson book and television show, but he denied that it was hush money.”
LAUER: Denise Brown is Nicole Brown’s sister. Denise, good morning again, good to see you.
BROWN: Good morning.
LAUER: So I read a portion of Rupert Murdoch’s statement a second ago. “I and senior management agree with the American public this was an ill-considered project.” You reacted by saying, “Yay for the American people.” The outrage was important. What about you? Did you have any personal contact with Fox on this?
BROWN: Well, actually we did. They contacted us, News Corp. contacted us, and what they wanted to do was, they wanted to offer us millions of dollars—
LAUER: Millions of dollars?
BROWN: Millions of dollars for, like, “Oh, I’m sorry” money, but they were still going to air the show.
BRONW: Well when this offer from News Corp. came to us, we just thought, “Oh my God!” Well, what they’re trying to do is trying to keep us quiet, try to make this like hush money, trying to go around the civil verdict. Giving us this money to keep our mouth’s shut.
LAUER: Let me just make sure I understand for the record. When this call came to your attorneys from Fox, the family’s reaction was absolutely not.
BROWN: Absolutely not. We were not going to take it. We are taking the high road. We are taking the legal road. The public, the American public has spoken. Their outcry to have this TV show and the book banned, not to be aired, was the people talking, and we felt the same way. We are not going to take – it doesn’t matter how many millions of dollars someone offers us – we are not going to take it.