If OJ did it

I wasn't going to buy Simpson's book when it looked like the profits might go to him, but now that it's being published so as to pay off the civil judgment owed to the family of Ron Goldman . . . I'm still not going to buy it. According to this review on Slate, the book contains a couple of perfunctory reminders that it's supposed to be a hypothetical story, some gory details, and a lengthy diatribe by Simpson against his dead ex-wife. One would think that whatever anger OJ harbored towards Nicole would have been expurgated by murdering her, but apparently not. Oh, and apparently the graphic design of the cover is different from the one originally slated for the OJ version. The new cover significantly downplays the "If" (placing it barely visibly inside the "I").

The real question is an ethical one. Assuming, per the Slate review, that the book would count as defamatory of Nicole were it not legally impossible to defame the dead, is it right for the Goldman family to publish it? Their position strikes me as a bit like that of the states after the tobacco settlement; the more cigarettes sold, the more their revenues. But the states at least had the excuse that the disgorgement of some profits from cigarette sales acted as a Pigovian tax. There's no social benefit from people reading Simpson's book.

I don't want to come down too hard on the Goldman family. There's not much that Simpson can lawfully do to earn the millions of dollars he owes them. It's not as if he's going to get work as an actor starring in "The Naked Gun 9/11" or make a comeback as an NFL running back at the age of 60. Still, perhaps the right thing for the Goldman family to do is to walk away from this project. I mean, suppose Simpson had made a snuff film of the murders. Would there be nothing wrong with trying to satisfy the judgment from sales of tickets to that? How different is a verbal description?

Happy Labor Day.