Judith Regan Dismissed Over If I Did It Debacle

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Judith Regan Dismissed Over If I Did It Debacle

Jan 04 2007

Judith Regan, publisher of Regan Books, the HarperCollins imprint responsible for a number of controversial but highly profitable titles such as three books about Scott Peterson, was dismissed shortly before Christmas following the furor over the planned memoir by O.J. Simpson, If I Did It, which was canceled shortly before release, with all copies destroyed, due to public outrage.

HarperCollins report that the Regan Books imprint will continue but under new leadership and that changes in the name of the imprint will be "addressed at the appropriate time". Among the possible reasons for Regan's firing, other than the obvious recent fiasco regarding the O.J. book, were anti-Semitic comments that she allegedly made about some of her colleagues at HarperCollins during a discussion with an in-house lawyer about her latest project, a controversial "biographical novel" about Mickey Mantle.

Regan is apparently not taking things lying down. According to the Wall Street Journal, she has hired "well-known Hollywood litigator Bert Fields," who told the paper. "They've chosen war and they will get exactly that." Fields went on to say that HarperCollins was looking for an excuse to fire Regan and "smeared her with a charge of anti-Semitism. … Judith Regan doesn't have an anti-Semitic bone in her body."

In 2005 Vanity Fair described Regan as "quite possibly the most successful woman in publishing," as well as "the Angriest Woman in Media: tormented, and a tormentor." In taking on HarperCollins, she is also taking on Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire includes HarperCollins.

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