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Game On Says Judith Regan to Jane Friedman

The book world is abuzzing with the complaint filed by Judith Regan, former head of Regan Publishing, a division of HarperCollins. No one can deny that Regan was a success. In her complaint, she alleges that she generated over $1B in sales. Fifteen of Regan’s books were NYT Bestsellers with five of them being in the number 1 slot.

But her success began unraveling with the backlash over the O.J. Simpson hypothetical confessional, If I Did It. Regan took the blame even though Rupert Murdoch’s signature was on the contract as well. Regan was subsequently fired over claims that she made anti-Semetic remarks.

The suit alleges breach of contract, sex discrimination, retaliation as well as accusations that Friedman, president and CEO of HarperCollins engaged in a calculated and defamatory smear campaign. She claims that the anti-Semetic claims were “fabricated”. (For some reason I thought someone had an audio recording of this?).

She also accuses NewsCorp of forcing her to lie about her affair with Bernard B Kerik during the vetting process of his nomination for homeland security secretary in 2004. Kerik later withdrew his name from the nominating hat by confessing to hiring an illegal alien as a nanny. In fact, Kerik had alot of other problems such as “alleging conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to the IRS.”

The best part of this suit? Being on the sidelines. Get your popcorn, kids. This could be way entertaining. Pray for protacted litigation with lots of depositions and court filings. Hope that HarperCollins, NewsCorp and Regan don’t settle.

Via NY Times, Wikipedia, and NY Magazine.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ann Bruce
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 13:00:14

    This suit is one of those things where I don’t care who wins because the dirt will by flying fast and furious–and it’ll be entertaining as hell.

  2. Karen Scott
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 14:39:19

    I read this early in my daily PW e-mail. I think she may have a chance of winning this.

  3. Maya Reynolds
    Nov 17, 2007 @ 09:50:34

    Uh…Rupert never signed the book contract nor did O.J.

    It was signed by O.J.’s attorney as the VP of Lorraine Brooke Associates, and by Judith Regan and Jane Friedman for HarperCollins.

    I remember thinking that Friedman had a lot of nerve blaming the entire mess on Regan when her signature was on the contract.

    I think it was Court TV that released the contract back when Fred Goldman sued O.J. and Lorraine Brooke Associates. It was an attachment to Goldman’s filing.

    Regan’s timing is impeccable. She waited until her ex-lover was back in the news because of his indictment to sue. What a great hook!

  4. DS
    Nov 17, 2007 @ 18:10:52

    The Smoking Gun has Regan’s entire 72 (!?!) page complaint for downloading in PDF form. In fact if you rat around a bit you can probably find the contract also.

    I may go over to the Court TV forums later to see if there is some prime wankery going on there. Regan has been much hated by Scott Peterson supporters since she produced the Amber Frey book.

    I would honestly have more sympathy for her if she had produced better books. They may have made a lot of money for the publisher but I can’t think of a one I’ve see that was not ultimately forgettable.

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