Book Deal About JFK Jr. Canceled

Friday, May 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — A publishing house says it canceled plans for a proposed book about John F. Kennedy Jr. after learning the author — the former editor in chief of JFK Jr.'s George magazine — had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the magazine.

``The reason I signed Rich Blow's book was because I found the proposal to provide an extremely warm and human portrait of John Kennedy as an adult,'' said publisher Sarah Crichton of Little, Brown and Company.

``But unfortunately, I wasn't aware at the time that he had signed a confidentiality agreement with George magazine. I now feel we've been left with no choice but to cancel the book.''

Published reports said Blow, who became acting editor in chief of the political magazine after Kennedy's death last summer, had received a $750,000 cash advance for the book. However, Little, Brown spokeswoman Beth Davey said Friday that the company never paid him any money. Publishers often sign authors based on a proposal but it is not formalized until a contract is drawn and signed.

Blow's deal had angered Kennedy friends, who saw the book as a betrayal, and George staffers, who felt it was hypocritical since Blow had forbidden them from speaking about Kennedy. The outrage grew this week after Brill's Content magazine said Blow was writing the book even though he had signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Blow said Crichton knew about the agreement. ``What you're seeing,'' he told the New York Daily News, ``is office politics (by) people who don't care what I'm going to write. They just don't want me to be the one to tell it.''

Blow said he planned to shop the book proposal to other publishers, predicting that the controversy would only heighten interest among other companies.