O.J. Simpson says his motives for holding an anti-violence fund-raiser at his home are simple and he doesn't understand why people are criticizing him.
"I'm not trying to blow my own horn," Simpson said in a weekend telephone interview. "I don't like having to justify why I'm doing this."Simpson has been denounced for holding the fund-raiser, scheduled for Thursday at his Brentwood estate, to benefit the Stop the Violence-Increase the Peace Foundation.
The group campaigns against various forms of violence, including spousal abuse. Simpson, acquitted last year of murder charges in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, pleaded no contest in 1989 to abusing his then-wife.
Leaders of the Inglewood-based foundation said they welcomed Simpson's offer of assistance.
"We have dealt with ex-gang members who have murdered three and four people in their lives," organization President Khalid Shah said Friday. "I don't think there is anyone who is beyond reproach, who doesn't have any skeletons in their closet."
Simpson said the event was an outgrowth of a meeting he had with the organization in which he talked with young gang mem-bers.
"I'm for stopping abuse of any kind," Simpson said. "You cannot be selective when you talk about violence."
One of Simpson's most vocal critics - Tammy Bruce, who heads Women's Progress Alliance with Denise Brown - derided his efforts.
"I know his motives," Bruce said of the benefit. "It's simply a cynical attempt at image building."
Simpson faces a September trial of a wrongful-death lawsuit which seeks to hold him responsible for the deaths of his former wife and Goldman. He said he will be totally vindicated by that trial.
The former football star also said:
-Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden were "pimps" for making money off his trial, along with Brown family attorney Gloria Allred who uses the media "any chance she can get."
-He hasn't read books by Clark, Darden or his jurors.
-He made less money than he had hoped from sales of the video he had made to tell his own story.