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Thursday, 7 September, 2000, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Simpson loses film battle
OJ Simpson in London, 1996
OJ Simpson: Did not block the book the film is based on
Former American footballer OJ Simpson has lost a legal battle to stop the broadcast of a TV film about his murder trial.

He sued his former friend, defence lawyer Robert Kardashian, and author Laurence Schiller in August, claiming they had breached a confidentiality agreement when they worked on the book American Tragedy: The Uncensored Story Of The Simpson Defence.

Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend in 1994, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial and ordered to pay $33.5m (24.2m) in damages.

The best-selling book was published in 1996, and Simpson claimed he was further betrayed when Schiller agreed to produce and direct the mini-series.

Civil trial

But in a Los Angeles courtroom, Judge David Yaffe ruled that Simpson had failed to prove he would be harmed by the broadcast of the film, as he had not tried to stop the book's publication four years ago.

After reading the film's script, the judge said there was "no necessity" for a preliminary injunction.

But he pointed out that Simpson could still win a lawsuit against Schiller and Kardashian for violating privacy contracts and publishing confidential material.

No trial date has been set for the lawsuit.

Defence 'dream team'

The film is directed by Schiller and stars Christopher Plummer, Ron Silver, Ving Rhames and Bruno Kirby.

Simpson claims the story reveals the thoughts of at least eight members of his murder trial's defence team, who he maintains were misled into speaking to Schiller when he was researching the book.

He said he had not been able to stop the book's original release because he had been involved in the civil trial over the deaths, which lasted until March 1997.

But Gary Bostwick, representing Project 95, the movie's producer, and Schiller, said Simpson's claim of having been too busy had no legal bearing.

Simpson's lawyer Terry Gross said he would "seriously consider" appealing.

But both sides know there is unlikely to be an appeal judgement before the mini-series' 12 November broadcast.

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16 Aug 00 | Entertainment
OJ Simpson attempts to block movie
28 Jul 00 | Americas
OJ answers online questions
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