“I was O.J.’s sports agent and personal manager for about 18 years. During the murder trials, I sat with O.J. in jail, in the attorney room, just about every day that it was open, or sat with him in court. I helped him emotionally, financially,” says Mike Gilbert, who has penned the book, How I Helped O.J. Get Away with Murder. “We signed autographs from two weeks after he was arrested until the day before he got out of jail, which generated a couple million dollars for O.J. and his defense. I believed O.J. was innocent initially, even though the first words out of my mouth were, â€˜He finally did it.’
“All of us around that circle, we helped him one way or another by looking the other way, by maybe not taking the time to ask Nicole, â€˜What’s really going on?’ I heard [Nicole’s] 911 tape, but I let O.J. spin it for me,” Mike continues. “It took me years to step away from O.J. and to see that I was protecting somebody who was a pretty horrible person. Tell the truth, O.J. went to Nicole’s house. He murdered Nicole. He murdered Ron. He has no remorse.”
While sitting in jail from June 1994 to October 1995, O.J. revealed what Mike calls the ultimate confession. “I can remember the first day I went in and visited him in jail, and I saw the cut on his knuckle. That was a very long, a very deep cut. He said, â€˜You know, Mike. I look at all this evidence. I believe in the DNA, and I know I had to have done this, but Mike if I did it, wouldn’t I remember?’ That led me, and a lot of other people, to believe that he did commit the murders. We believe that it was O.J., but it wasn’t O.J. in his right mind.”
Mike drops another bombshell. “We knew that the glove was going to be put on O.J. Remember, these gloves had Nicole’s blood. These are the gloves that held the knife that murdered the mother of his children. I said, â€˜O.J., if you don’t act the way those jurors think you should, they will vote you guilty. If you’re worried about the gloves fitting or not fitting, just don’t take arthritis medicine.’ He said, â€˜Mike, my hands will hurt like hell.’ And I said, â€˜O.J., why will they hurt like hell?’ He said, â€˜My hands will get all swollen.'”
Mike pauses for dramatic effect. “I said, â€˜Exactly.'”
Fred and Kim Goldman haven’t seen Mike Gilbert in 12 years. He now sits across from them on Dr. Phil’s stage.
“Why did you write this book, and why now?” Dr. Phil asks Mike.
“I believed in the goodness of this guy. It took me separating myself, and stepping back from him, and looking back at how I had vilified these people,” he replies.
“You’re telling me that while O.J. was sitting in jail for this trial, that you would go in there, and he would sign things,” Dr. Phil says, referring to the millions of dollars that O.J. generated for his autographed items.
“I was floored that within a week of the murders, O.J. summoned me to the jail. He dictated a letter to one of the attorneys. I thought it was, â€˜Stand by me. You know I couldn’t have done this,'” Mike says. “Instead, I got there and there was a note, and the note read: â€˜Mike imagine, O.J. Simpson, Los Angeles County Jail, my autograph is worth more than any man alive. I need you now more than ever.'”
“No bells went off in your head at the time that just said, â€˜This is so wrong. Whether he’s guilty or not guilty, this is so wrong’? There are two people who are lying dead and nothing ever went off in your mind?” Dr. Phil asks.
“I thought that it was wrong, and there were so many things that people wanted us to do that I wouldn’t do,” Mike replies. “That was my job. That was what I was asked to do by O.J., by his attorneys, to generate money. It wasn’t right. It absolutely was wrong.”
Kim is unmoved by Mike’s apology. “I’m just shocked that it took you 14 years for the whistle to go off. If my idol or best friend told me that he thought he killed somebody, I would have high-tailed it out of there,” she says.
“You saw everything that took place in the trial. Anybody with an ounce of brains knew this S.O.B. was guilty, and for all these years, you helped him squirrel away his money, hide money, hide assets. Forgive me, I think you’re full of crap that you are remorseful,” says Fred.
During an interview, Mike makes another startling revelation. “The Goldmans have to physically catch O.J. with money. I helped divert money to O.J. from public appearances. â€˜We’re going to pay you, Mike Gilbert, $50,000 to have O.J. show up at our event.’ With a wink and a nod, they would pay me for my services to get O.J. to do this, and the money is always diverted back to O.J,” he says.
Off-camera, a producer asks, “How much money have you helped to divert?”
“It would have to be in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Mike replies.
When the tape ends, Mike reiterates that he helped divert O.J.’s assets, and expresses remorse at his deeds. “There are times in people’s lives that people really do change,” he replies. He faces Fred and Kim. “I am sorry. I am sorry for the things I said about you and the things I did to help ” as you say ” the killer. I was a part of this inner circle that helped him go play golf every day. I can’t change that, but I can try to do the right thing now.”
Mike explains what motivated him to write How I Helped O.J. Get Away with Murder. “I looked back at all the things that I had done wrong, Mr. Goldman, and I was shocked, and I was disgusted. I was a part of him walking out of jail that day. I understand; I was a part of that. I helped destroy your lives.”
He apologizes profusely to the Goldmans.
Dr. Phil addresses Kim. “You’ve heard what Mike has had to say. How do you react to that?” he asks.
“I don’t really want to be anybody’s confessional, to be honest with you, and I don’t really feel like it’s my need or obligation to absolve anybody of their guilt,” Kim replies. She faces Mike. “Why didn’t you help when we asked? We learned about your book. We reached out and asked for your assistance, and you said no. You knew of assets, and you knew where things were, and when we reached out through a contact of yours, the answer was no.”
He gestures to his attorney in the audience. “Mark Kapetan is currently working on getting everything from Las Vegas, an order, to have all of those items turned back over to you. We’ve gone through the list. Every item that is there that should be yours is going to be yours,” Mike says. “Any items in other storage facilities, I’ve talked to Mark, we’re going after the storage units, because these storage units were put in various names.”
“Would you have done that if you weren’t compelled by the court to do it?” Kim asks.
“I wasn’t compelled by the court,” Mike begins.
“The court order existed years ago when the court came to his house to take all his assets, and you and other folks in ” what I will refer to in your words, his inner circle ” took all of that stuff out of his house to hide it to make certain it wasn’t available,” Fred counters.
“Who got the money for your book?” Dr. Phil asks Mike.
“I did,” he replies.
Dr. Phil opens a copy of Mike’s book. “You say the money for this book goes to you. It says on the flap copy here: â€˜Is he making a play for sympathy or looking to make a quick buck? No. Proceeds from this book are going to the March of Dimes and to several other charities with which Gilbert has long been associated,'” he reads.
“Right,” Mike says.
“Will you tell us how much you made off this book?” he asks.
“I can tell you that I made under one hundred thousand,” Mike answers.
“How much went to the charities?”
“Probably 20 [percent],” Mike answers.
“Isn’t that misleading?” Dr. Phil asks. “It doesn’t say part of the proceeds, some of the proceeds, 10 cents on the dollar. It says, ‘The proceeds from this book are going to charity,’ but in fact, the proceeds from the book are going to you and some to charity.”
“That’s right,” Mike says.
Referencing the book’s title, Dr. Phil says, “Did you help him get away with murder?”
“Yes,” Mike replies.
“Did you know that he was beating his wife before this ever took place?” Dr. Phil inquires.
“I knew of the one incident. I asked O.J. about it,” Mike replies. He refers to Nicole Brown Simpson’s 911 call. “I heard that tape, and O.J. spun that: â€˜Oh, Mike. That was Nicole. She was drunk. You know how Nicole gets when she’s drunk.'”
“If I had a friend who I saw had beat the hell out of his wife not once, but regularly, you’d have to be blind not to know that. He did it regularly for years,” Fred chimes in. “If I had a friend who did that, he wouldn’t be a friend anymore, period. I wouldn’t be there for him, ever.”
Kim questions Mike’s motives. “My feeling is that your gravy train has parked itself in Las Vegas and the well has dried up,” she says. “You just joined the ranks of everybody else who’s trying to profit continually from this case, and when you had an opportunity to do the right thing, you opted to sensationalize it and capitalize on it, as opposed to actually doing what most of us would have done, sat down and wrote something heartfelt to our people.”
“Or had your attorney pick up a phone and call our attorney and say, â€˜Here’s where all the assets are,'” Fred chimes in.
Dr. Phil introduces civil litigation attorney Areva Martin. “If [Mike] helped manipulate evidence or a demonstration in trial, does that not sound like obstruction of justice?” he asks.
“There is testimony and statements made by Mr. Gilbert about possibly participating in the presentation of false evidence at trial. A very troubling statement, and definitely could be the kind of information that could lead to some type of obstruction of justice charge,” she replies. “Also, from the civil standpoint, we’ve heard a lot about diverting of assets, or participating in the diversion of assets, which could give rise to civil claims against Mr. Gilbert for fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud.”
“There is also a potential for conspiracy to commit contempt of the court order, of the turnover orders. If he was assisting in hiding some of this evidence, or some of these items,” Mark adds.
“We know where the items are, we have a court order to turn the items over, but yet they haven’t been turned over,” Areva says.
Dr. Phil asks Mike if he has any final thoughts.
“I thank you for the opportunity. I don’t think I have the right to be on the stage and ask for forgiveness, because it’s not deserved, and I’m sorry it took so long to make things right,” he replies.
If I Did It, published by the Goldman family, is now available in paperback. The proceeds will benefit the Ron Goldman Justice Fund.