With the O.J. Simpson verdict in, get ready for the trial’s sequel: “Dealing for Dollars.”
The biggest winner will be Simpson himself, who can probably reap a seven-figure book deal, several Hollywood agents said Tuesday.
A pay-per-view show in which he tells his side of the story already is being shopped around. Both add up to a big payday that can help Simpson cover his legal expenses.
“He could make $10 million off a book domestically and maybe $3 million to $5 million in the foreign market,” said an executive at a major Hollywood talent agency who asked not to be identified.
But don’t look for the former fleet-footed football great to dash through airports on behalf of Hertz Corp.
Simpson was a corporate spokesman for the rental car giant from 1975 until 1994 and last appeared in a commercial in 1990.
Hertz has no plans to rehire Simpson.
“We concluded our relationship in 1994, and I don’t see any change from that status. We don’t have any comment beyond that,” said Hertz Vice President Joe Russo.
His status in the broadcast booth is less certain.
“With the activity that happened today and everything happening so quickly, we don’t think now is the right time to make a comment,” said Ed Markey, a vice president at NBC-TV, where Simpson worked as a football analyst from September 1989 until January 1994.
The talent agency International Creative Management, which represented Simpson for years, also declined to comment on the verdict and wouldn’t say whether he was still a client.
While Simpson might be able to revive his acting career, it’s unlikely he will ever again find employment as a corporate pitchman.
“It would be very difficult for any corporation to link up with O.J. because of the mixed feelings in the community about the verdict,” said Toby Zwikel, vice president of Brener Zwikel and Associates Inc., a sports marketing firm based in Reseda, a Los Angeles suburb.
But look for jurors to start dealing for dollars.
Before the verdict was read they refused to meet with attorneys, the families of victims Nicole Brown Simpson or Ronald Goldman, or the media.
It makes financial sense, said attorney Arthur Barens, who already has negotiated six-figure deals for three books relating to the case.
He questioned why jurors would give their stories away when lots of publications would be willing to pay.
“I think if anything this will only enhance the market,” Barens said of the verdict. “In terms of commercial outlook, I think it’s very positive.”