Brown: We were offered hush money

Nov. 21, 2006 at 12:03 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- O.J. Simpson's former sister-in-law said the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, who were killed in California in 1994, were offered hush money.

In an interview on NBC's "Today Show," Denise Brown said the families were contacted and offered "millions of dollars, like 'I'm sorry' money" from the proceeds of a book and television special of Simpson's account of how he might have killed his ex-wife and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

News Corp., which owns both Fox and book publisher Harper Collins, decided Monday to can the project, titled, "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened." The book, viewed by some as a confession, had been scheduled for publication Nov. 30.

Brown said attorneys for the Brown and Goldman families received phone calls offering them money to drop their claims to $33.5 million awarded in a civil suit against the former NFL football great and actor.

"They're trying to keep us quiet," Brown said, adding the families rejected the offer. "We're not going away."

She said efforts are under way to determine how a reported $3.5 million advance was funneled to a corporation, which controls that corporation and what happened to the money. Publisher Judith Regan, who was shepherding the project, said no money was paid directly to Simpson.

"These people need to be held accountable," Brown said.

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman in the courtyard of Nicole Simpson's condominium. The families later sued him in civil court for money to support his and Nicole's children, Justin and Sydney, now 21 and 18.

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