Five days after prosecutor Marcia Clark scored a book deal worth $4.2 million, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, her victorious adversary in the O.J. Simpson trial, has finalized plans to write his own memoir - but reportedly for less money.
It was announced Tuesday that Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, will publish Cochran’s autobiography in the spring of 1997. Although the parties would not discuss financial terms of the agreement, sources said Cochran obtained more than $3 million but less than the $4.2 million that Clark will be paid by Viking Penguin.
“We won the case,” Cochran, sounding amused, said Tuesday from Los Angeles. “It was a tremendously substantial offer.”
But did he also win the case by exceeding Clark’s advance? “I’ll leave that vague for you,” Cochran said.
“A discussion of how much is being paid serves no one,” said Russell Galen, Cochran’s literary agent.
Cochran’s book will be called “My Journey to Justice.” Ballantine plans to publish the work through its respected One World imprint, whose list includes titles aimed at blacks. Representatives of seven other publishing houses also had met with Cochran to discuss his plans to write an autobiography that will cover the Simpson trial and other high-profile cases he has handled. In the end, however, Cochran reportedly negotiated only with Ballantine.
“My involvement in the justice system spans more than 30 years,” Cochran said. “Besides Michael Jackson, my clients have included many more ‘no J’s‘ than O.J. I want to shed some light on the subject of justice in America, talk about the value of hard work and how we can make a difference, … I think I have a little more in me than just the O.J. Simpson case.”
Ballantine President Linda Grey referred to Cochran as a “true American success story.”