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Chat With O.J.? It'll Cost You

oj o.j. simpson in 1997
AP
On the Internet, O.J. Simpson will get another chance to convince America that he didn't kill his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson will field questions next week during a two-hour chat session.

"I'm not opposed to talking to the public about my case," Simpson said Tuesday in a phone interview from Florida, which will soon be his new home. "Most of them don't know the facts of my case. When I talk to them there's usually a 180-degree change in attitude."

The July 27 Internet stint will take place in Tampa, the headquarters of Entertainment Network Inc., the company sponsoring the event.

Simpson said he will receive no payment for his participation except a pledge from the company to contribute money to his three favorite charities. Those who sign on to his chat room will pay a fee to talk with him.

Simpson was acquitted of murder in a criminal trial but was found liable for the 1994 deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in a subsequent civil trial. He was ordered to pay the victims' families $33.5 million.

"My guilt was established in the public eye, not in the courtroom. It was established in the media," said Simpson, who plans to lease a house in the Miami area where he will live with his two younger children.

He said those with the right computer equipment will be able to see and hear him. Others will receive answers typed in by a stenographer present in the room with him.

Simpson said he didn't know how much it would cost to log on, how much was going to charity or the address for the Web chat. A spokesman for Entertainment Network Inc. did not return a call for comment.

Entertainment Network has become known for its voyeuristic Web sites in which people can look in on places such as college dorms.

Simpson, who insists he is innocent, said he hopes the Internet site may attract people with helpful information.

Also Tuesday, Nicole Brown Simpson's parents said they would release the phone records that O.J. Simpson says will prove his innocence if he puts up $1 million.

Under the offer, Simpson would get the money back if the phone records provided an alibi for him, said Gloria Allred, the Browns' attorney. Otherwise, the money would be split among three shelters for battered women, she said.

"It is time to put this matter to rest once and for all," Allred said. "The pain of Nicole's family continues and is worsened every time Mr. Simpson persists in making his ridiculous assertion that he didn't kill Nicole."

Simpson has been seeking phone records from the night of June 12, 1994 when his ex-wife and Goldman were stabbed to death to show that Nicole spoke to her mother at 11 p.m. Testimony in his criminal trial placed the call at 9:37 p.m. Attorneys for both sides in the civil trial maintained that Nicole was killed shortly after 10:30 p.m.

O.J. Simpson's attorney, Douglas E. McCann, said Allre's proposal "has the smell of extortion to it."

"You have to put up a million dollars for the truth? The truth should be something given for free," he said.

Written by Linda Deutsch