LOS ANGELES A memorabilia dealer who profited from O.J. Simpson for many years is the latest former crony to write a tell-all book, this one alleging Mr. Simpson, high on marijuana, confessed to killing his ex-wife after he was acquitted.
Mike Gilbert also claims he helped his former friend wiggle out of the murder charges by suggesting how to bloat his hands so they wouldn t fit the notorious bloody gloves.
Mr. Gilbert s book, How I Helped O.J. Get Away With Murder: The Shocking Inside Story of Violence, Loyalty, Regret and Remorse (Regnery Publishing, 232 pages, $27.95), is due in stores today.
He said Mr. Simpson had smoked pot, took a sleeping pill, and was drinking beer when he confided at his Brentwood home weeks after his trial what happened the night of June 12, 1994. Mr. Simpson said he went to his ex-wife s condominium, but did not bring a knife with him. Mr. Simpson told him Nicole Brown Simpson had one in her hand when she opened the door.
In a soft mumble, Mr. Simpson told him: If she hadn t opened that door with a knife in her hand ... she d still be alive.
Nothing more needed to be said, Mr. Gilbert writes. O.J. had confessed to me. There s no doubt in my mind.
Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death at the entrance to her condominium. The knife was never found.
Mr. Simpson s current lawyer, Yale Galanter, said none of Mr. Gilbert s claims is true and that Mr. Gilbert is a delusional drug addict who needs money. He s fallen on very hard times. He is in trouble with the IRS.
I ve talked to O.J. about it, said Mr. Galanter, who refused to allow Mr. Simpson to comment directly because of his upcoming robbery trial in Las Vegas. This stuff not only didn t occur, but it s not factually supported by the evidence.
Mr. Gilbert called Mr. Galanter an ambulance chaser and an enabler and denier for O.J. I know. I used to do the same thing. I understand the game.
He acknowledged he has IRS problems, which he says were caused by Mr. Simpson. But he said, I could take a drug test and pass it. I highly doubt that O.J. could.
Mr. Gilbert is the second sports memorabilia dealer to write a Simpson book this year. Thomas Riccio, who arranged a Las Vegas memorabilia sale that led to Mr. Simpson s armed robbery arrest, penned Busted last month.
Mr. Simpson himself participated in the controversial book, If I Did It, which he claimed was not a confession. It was withdrawn by the publisher and eventually released last year by the Goldman family to help satisfy a $33.5 million wrongful death judgment.
Mr. Gilbert said he continued to represent Mr. Simpson for another decade after the alleged confession, hawking items with his autograph, hiding the profits, and helping Mr. Simpson shield his possessions from the Goldman family.
Mr. Gilbert said he broke with Mr. Simpson two years ago because he felt cheated, didn t approve of his lifestyle, and was repulsed by If I Did It.
Former Gilbert partner Bruce Fromong, who was involved in the Vegas incident, said Mr. Gilbert is known for tall tales.
Mike makes up a lot of great stories, Mr. Fromong said. Mike Gilbert has a ton of skeletons in his closet. He s as dirty as anyone.