Publisher Abandons Fuhrman Book Deal
JANE E. ALLEN
Aug. 29, 1995
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A publishing house has scrapped plans for a Mark Fuhrman book deal because of explosive tapes on which the former detective uses racist language and talks about police brutality and frame-ups.
``There was a general sense for both commercial and ethical reasons that it was not appropriate to pursue at this time,'' said Dove Books spokesman Michael Levine.
O.J. Simpson's lawyers have accused Fuhrman _ a key witness for the prosecution _ of planting evidence to frame the former football star for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend.
The defense wants the jury to hear the tapes, which Simpson's lawyers contend will brand the recently retired detective as a racist liar capable of framing Simpson for the stabbing deaths.
Dove's Fuhrman project, announced in June, was to take the same format as Simpson's best-selling book in which he responded to letters of support he received after he was charged with killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Simpson's book was published by Little, Brown.
Dove Books Chief Michael Viner said Monday the decision to abandon the book isn't irrevocable.
``We don't just want to assume everything the defense has said about Fuhrman is true, but at this point we have no plan to reschedule the book,'' Viner said.
Superior Court Judge Lance Ito was mulling whether jurors will hear portions of Fuhrman's tape-recorded interviews with North Carolina screenwriter Laura Hart McKinny. A hearing was scheduled for today.
The recordings have not been released publicly, but Ito and attorneys have disclosed some details, and portions of the transcripts have been leaked to news media.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that one remark in particular has angered officials who have heard it.
According to the paper's unidentified sources, Fuhrman told the screenwriter that he wished police would not replace the aging 77th Street Division, where Fuhrman began his career.
Fuhrman said he would miss the ``smell of niggers that have been beaten and killed in there for years,'' the paper reported.
Fuhrman's spokesmen have said he was just playing the role of a racist, rogue cop to make for a better story for McKinny's screenplay.
Fuhrman's attorney Robert Tourtelot had said publication of Fuhrman's book would be delayed until the trial was finished, to avoid the risk of tainting Fuhrman's credibility. Tourtelot didn't return a call seeking further comment Monday.
Dove has published other Simpson-related books, including the tell-all ``Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted,'' written by Ms. Simpson's friend Faye Resnick, and ``Diary of an O.J. Juror'' by ex-panelist Michael Knox.