Thanks to Mim Udovitch for her thoughtful, fair‑minded profile of Kato Kaelin [November 1995]. I think Kato is a good person who's been treated badly by the tabloid media. I'm glad his 15 minutes have gone into overtime, and I hope to see more of him on TV and in movies.
EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J.
I completely agree with Udovitch's comments about the Marc Eliot book. I, too, was put off by its overblown prose and self‑righteous ramblings. I believe Eliot was angry at Kato for pulling out of the book deal and used the perjury accusation to get back at him and stir up controversy to boost book sales.
I consider Mim Udovitch's "profile" of Kato Kaelin a direct and highly inaccurate attack on me, even more disturbing because of the total lack of opportunity I was given to respond.
[Udovitch writes,] "...there is really nothing in Kato Kaelin: The Whole Truth that differs substantively from Kato's testimony. "Absolutely untrue. My book, which spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, cites numerous instances where Kaelin's testimony differed from what he told me and, separately, Marcia Clark, prior to his taking the witness stand. I remind Ms. Udovitch and the readers of your magazine that during his testimony Kaelin was declared a hostile witness by the prosecution.
[Udovitch further states that] "The Marc Eliot book... was the source of the not uncommon belief that Kato perjured himself. Wrong. Kato's testimony was the source of that belief.
[And as to the assertion that Kaelin] "sat for a series of interviews for a book project with writer Marc Eliot before deciding not to sell his story": absolutely incorrect. When I was first approached by Kato and his lawyer, Michael Plotkin, in November 1994, my agent told them I didn't work "on spec." Although both Kaelin and Plotkin verbally agreed to doing the book, neither held to the spirit or the letter of a collaboration agreement (unsigned) or publishing contract negotiated with St. Martin's Press before a word was written or a syllable recorded. Kato reneged six months later.
Finally, fair enough if Udovitch wants to take a shot at me for my style of writing. However, I have been published in 14 languages around the world and have written several successful biographies, on Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen and Walt Disney, among others.
Mim Udovitch responds:
Quite apart from the other ambiguities and contradictions in his letter, that Mr. Eliot regards a 5,000‑word article that mentions him twice, briefly, as a personal attack says everything about his ability to weigh and evaluate evidence. I stand by my story.
After reading your article, I don't know whether to dislike Kato Kaelin even more or feel sorry for him. One thing is for sure: He is exploiting the entire O.J. debacle to the hilt. And he still doesn't have any talent.
Sheri C. Cooper
EL CAJON, CALIF.