A timeline of tackiness:

Tacky: OJ Simpson acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in the “trial of the century” (3 October, 1995).

Tacky/Tacky: A civil court jury finds Simpson liable for the deaths and awards the victims’ families US$33.5 million in damages. To date, little of the money has been paid (4 February, 1997).

Tacky/Tacky/Tacky: The National Inquirer reveals that News Corporation subsidiary HarperCollins is set to publish a book called If I Did It – Here’s How it Happened. A two-part interview with the author, OJ Simpson, is scheduled to air on its cable TV network Fox News in late November (October 2006).

Tacky/Tacky/Tacky/Tacky: After intense public pressure — stores threatening to boycott and threats from advertisers to pull their business from Fox News –News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch announces that HarperCollins will no longer publish the book, stating that “I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project. We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson” (21 November, 2006).

Tacky/Tacky/Tacky/Tacky/Tacky: The families of Brown and Goldman reveal that News Corp offered them millions of dollars from the profits of the book in what they described as “hush money” (22 November, 2006).

Tacky/Tacky/Tacky/Tacky/Tacky/Tacky: As the book hits eBay, OJ Simpson gloats he was paid US$3.5 million for the book and interview: “Would everybody stop being so naive? Of course I got paid …It’s gone …It’s all blood money and unfortunately I had to join the jackals…It helped me get out of debt and secure my homestead” (22 November, 2006).

Peter Fray

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