By Deutsch, Linda
Editor & Publisher
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 a groggy 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.
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 Monday. It was released to The Associated Press in advance.
He said 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. Simpson said he went to his ex-wife's condominium, but did not bring a knife with him. Simpson told him Nicole Brown Simpson had one in her hand when she opened the door.
In a soft mumble, 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," 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.
Simpson's current lawyer Yale Galanter said none of Gilbert's claims are true and that 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 Galanter, who refused to allow 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."
The name calling and accusations on both sides showed that deep wounds persist.
In a phone interview, Gilbert called 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 Simpson but said, "I could take a drug test and pass it. I highly doubt that O.J. could."
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 Simpson's armed robbery arrest, penned "Busted" last month.
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.
Gilbert said he continued to represent Simpson for another decade after the alleged confession, hawking items with his autograph, hiding the profits and helping Simpson shield his possessions so they could not be seized by the Goldman family.
Gilbert also claims that he counseled the jailed Simpson during his murder trial to stop taking his arthritis medicine so his hands would swell up and not fit the bloody gloves in court. He offers no proof Simpson followed his advice or that he was taking any medicine, but the drama that played out in court when the gloves didn't fit was central to Simpson's defense.
The prosecutors in Simpson's murder trial, Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, could not immediately be reached for comment on Gilbert's claims. …