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News Corp. Cans The Juice

Under sharp criticism, the company pulls plans for a published book by O.J. Simpson called 'If I Did It.'

Rupert Murdoch doesn't want The Juice after all.

Wading through a sea of public criticism, the chairman and CEO of

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get News Corporation Class B Report

changed course on Monday and canceled the O.J. Simpson book and television special called

If I Did It


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Simpson, the former NFL star who was ultimately acquitted in a court of law but not in the court of public opinion, appeared to be issuing a veiled confession to the 1994 murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman with his upcoming public salvo. Critics charged that he and News Corp. were attempting to profit off a bungled murder trial.

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman, in a statement. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

A number of Fox affiliates already had said they wouldn't air the two-part TV special, timed to come out just before the publication of the book by ReganBooks. The publishing house is a HarperCollins brand, which is owned by News Corp.

Judith Regan, publisher of

If I Did It

, said she considered the book to be Simpson's confession, though he did not say he committed the crimes.

In the book and the show, Simpson reportedly speaks in hypothetical terms about how he would have carried out the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her lover. He was later found liable for the deaths in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Goldman family.

Shares of News Corp. closed down 23 cents, or 1%, to $21.86.