Denise Brown, the sister of the woman who ex-NFL star O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering in cold blood, had recently taken to the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise money for a new documentary she said would finally tell "her family's side of the story." But to the shock of everyone involved in the project, she has abruptly withdrawn her participation and support. In this exclusive interview with HNGN she admits to doing so for one single reason: the use of the name O.J. Simpson.
"This is to tell our side of the story," Brown told HNGN in an exclusive interview. "There is no verdict in our story. We are not talking about him or that. We are honoring Nicole."
"I am so tired of seeing O.J. this, O.J. that," she adds, again noting that to date, no one else has been charged with Nicole Brown Simpson's murder. "I want the focus to be on my sister - not him."
So she embarked on a project with a friend who became her partner to raise $360,000 through Kickstarter to produce and promote a film about Nicole. Her plan was to raise money in a campaign that lasted 55 days, marking her sister's age if she were still alive this year.
One critical point she made before embarking on the project was that there was to be no mention of O.J. in the documentary. Her focus was about how the Brown family and another family came together in the aftermath a horrifically tragic event to honor Nicole Brown Simpson.
On the site, she writes her pitch to investors, stating, "We feel the risk factor is low in this situation because of public awareness to this tragedy. If everyone who watched the 'Trial Of The Century' or was effected by the verdict pledged only $1, we would raise enough to develop the script, produce the documentary and the entire movie. And... if everyone who either watched the 'Simpson Saga' or was effected by the verdict went to see this movie, it would be one of the biggest movies of all times."
Brown was adamant viewers would never hear O.J. Simpson's name in the film or in any of its marketing.
"He doesn't exist in my life anymore," she says. "I am over the anger. I don't allow him in my head any more."
Now Denise has abruptly backed out of the project. The reason: she says the marketers convinced her partner that the only way to sell the project was to push O.J. Simpson's name.
"The minute people said you have to market this with Simpson's name I said no," she says. "I won't do anything to acknowledge the acquittal this year. So many are jumping on the bandwagon and doing the same old stuff, and I thought this could be different because the story is different. But I won't go there."
She says she is currently brainstorming other ways to honor her sister's life.
And while O.J. Simpson's appeal for release from a Nevada prison on armed robbery and other charges not related to the murder is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court, Denise Brown is continuing to push for better conditions for victims of domestic violence.
She was heartened to learn that the NFL has finally instituted a domestic violence awareness program.
"They should have started a long time ago," she says. "The person I believe murdered my sister was an NFL player and I wish more was done then. I am happy they are at least talking about it now."
Domestic violence is a key editorial component of Denise's new radio show, which can be found at outreachradioshow.com.
"We need to keep fighting for the victims," she says. "Too many people end up dead and we need to speak up. We don't need to say the bad guys' names - we need to say the victims' names."
To learn more about The Nicole Brown Foundation, a non-profit national advocacy organization against domestic violence, please visit www.nicolebrown.org.
The Kickstarter campaign Denise Brown started is still posted but with a designation of "Canceled." You can still read the original details here.
Jon Leiberman is an Emmy award-winning investigative correspondent, host, producer, victim advocate and author. He recently wrote the book "Whitey On Trial," about the mob. In addition to contributing to HNGN, he is a contributor to "Snapped" on Oxygen and various other television shows. Leiberman is a former correspondent for "America's Most Wanted." Follow him on Twitter @reporterjon.