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SIMPSON INVITES GRILLING - FOR A PROFIT.

Byline: Russ Britt Daily News Staff Writer

O.J. Simpson is challenging prosecutor Marcia Clark to grill him on the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman - just as long as he can make money from the taped sessions.

In brief excerpts from his made-for-profit taped interview, Simpson makes the offer to Clark, who tried to convict him, and extends it to Fred Goldman, father of Ronald Goldman.

His challenge comes in response to criticism from Fred Goldman that he was a "coward" for not taking the witness stand in his nine-month criminal trial.

Simpson said he wanted to take the witness stand and added that he should be allowed to make money from any interviews he gives in order to regain lost income from defending himself.

"I would rather (Fred) Goldman and Marcia Clark would be sitting right here interviewing me, but they're too busy making money," Simpson says in "O.J. Simpson: The Interview."

"They don't want to see O.J. trying to replenish what he lost. I was the only person that lost anything financially - me and the taxpayers of this state. I don't see anybody trying to pay the taxpayers back or me back.

"I would have loved for Marcia Clark - tomorrow - for Marcia Clark to sit and talk to me. She could film it as long as I can market it," Simpson said.

Attorneys for the victims' families and a representative for Clark all echoed the same response: that Simpson had his chance to speak during the criminal trial.

Norman Brokaw, who represented Clark in a $4.2 million book deal for VikingPenguin, read a response from the Los Angeles County prosecutor, which said: "I would not be involved in anything that would allow Mr. Simpson to profit from this situation."

Juditha Brown, mother of Nicole Simpson, referred comments to Brown family attorney Gloria Allred.

"I think this type of statement will not make any points with anyone," Allred said. "He appears to many people to be callous and insensitive."

"I think the fact that he is marketing a video for profit on the murder of the mother of his two children speaks volumes about the man," said attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who is representing the Goldman family in their civil suit against Simpson.

Two excerpts from the Simpson interview were made available to news organizations Friday.

In the second excerpt, Simpson attempts to pick apart limousine driver Allan Park's contention that the lights were off before he saw a shadowy figure enter the Brentwood estate the night of the killings.

The full 2-1/2-hour tape, featuring a 92-minute interview with former L.A. television anchorman Ross Becker, is selling for $29.95, and was being mailed to buyers Friday.

Video producer Tony Hoffman said he is not sending out complete advance copies of the tape until after paying customers receive them. The tape is expected to arrive in homes Tuesday.

The excerpts are the first glimpses of the highly publicized videotape, which is billed as the only explanation Simpson offers on specifics of the killings. Simpson has granted several interviews but has stated that he will not discuss specifics because of what is contained in the videotape.

Accompanying the excerpts was the proviso that no editing of a question, response or statement take place. Hoffman adds the caveat that news organizations not black out an 800 number to order the video. The number appears on screen throughout the excerpt.

"That's the only reason I released (the excerpts)," said Hoffman.

Hoffman's company, H&K LLC Productions in Agoura Hills, has found it difficult to buy ads for the video on broadcast television, he said. Hoffman said sales are going "very well" but he declined to discuss how many videotapes were mailed Friday.

Simpson reportedly was paid a flat fee of $3 million for appearing in the video. He receives no cut of the profits, according to Hoffman.

In the excerpts related to testimony from limousine driver Parks, Simpson, casually dressed in a white sweater, talks to the camera about whether or not lights can be seen from either of two gates at his Rockingham Avenue estate.

"I think I can turn on 90 percent of the lights in my house - in my living room, in my dining room, in my family room, my pool room, my bathroom, my bedroom - and from the street you would not notice that," Simpson said.

The excerpts show the darkened estate from the gate where Park used the intercom to reach Simpson. Then the camera moves onto the grounds and toward the house before venturing inside to show lights on in the foyer, a hallway and Simpson's family room.

Park had said he could not see lights on in the house until a shadowy figure entered the home about 40 minutes after the killings are believed to have taken place. His contention was a major focal point in Simpson's criminal trial.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 17, 1996
Words:823
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