But only briefly as publisher gets taboo story pulled after legal action

LOS ANGELES - OJ Simpson's scuttled book about the murder of his former wife attracted hot but brief bidding on eBay before being removed on Wednesday, while the former football star laughingly said he had been paid and had spent his advance.

LOS ANGELES - OJ Simpson's scuttled book about the murder of his former wife attracted hot but brief bidding on eBay before being removed on Wednesday, while the former football star laughingly said he had been paid and had spent his advance.

The book, If I Did It, and a two-part TV interview were dropped by media conglomerate News Corporation on Monday after an outcry from advertisers, booksellers and relatives of the dead.

The book and interview were touted as a hypothetical account of how Simpson would have killed ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994.

Simpson was reportedly paid R25million in advance.

Publishers have pledged to recall and destroy all the books, but one copy appeared briefly on eBay. It got more than 50 bids, the highest of more than R11000.

In an interview with a Miami radio station Simpson again proclaimed himself innocent, saying the title of the book was the publisher's idea, and that he had been paid but declined to specify how much.

The former football star was acquitted in 1995 of charges that he committed the bloody June 1994 murders.

But a civil court jury in 1997 found him liable for the deaths and awarded the victims' families damages amounting to millions of rands.

Interviewer Judith Regan said last week she was told the money would go to his children, not Simpson. Regan added she was mystified why Simpson decided to write such a book.

Publisher HarperCollins said they had contacted eBay about removing the copy of If I Did It from the website. "We are doing everything in our power to have them all destroyed," said a spokesman.

An eBay spokesman said HarperCollins took action under laws governing intellectual property rights.

Another posting by someone eager to track down a copy of the book remained on eBay, and at least two people were auctioning off OJ Simpson-related e-mail addresses.

The seller of "OJ.IDidIt@gmail.com" described the address as a way for businesses "to profit from the resurrected OJ craze".

The taped interview with Simpson, ditched this week by News Corporation's Fox network, was also expected to find its way onto the Internet.

Popular video site YouTube on Wednesday had dozens of spoof and satirical amateur videos on the topic, but no authentic tape. - Reuters

X