Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Giuliani, Murdoch and Judith Regan

She is making news again, this time claiming Rupert Murdoch's people asked her to cover up an affair with Bernard Kerik to protect Rudy Giuliani's presidential ambitions. It's vintage Judith Regan to tie her own interests, this time in a lawsuit against Murdoch, to the headlines.

The charge comes at the start of a 70-page filing for $100 million in damages for what she says was a campaign to smear and discredit her by her bosses at Harper Collins and its parent company, News Corporation.

Before she was famous, Regan sounded me out about writing a book about fatherhood. When I started talking about the complexity of the subject, she cut me off.

"No, no," she said, alluding to her own experience. "It has to be about bastards abandoning their children. The title is 'DaddyWho?'"

After that brief encounter, Regan parlayed her colorful certainty into a notorious career as a book publisher and TV host, most of it under the aegis of Murdoch, a kindred spirit when it comes to eschewing ambivalence.

Now here they are, locked in combat, after Murdoch fired her over O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" book, which he had apparently approved but backed off when it provoked widespread outrage.

Regan, the New York Times reports, "had an affair with Mr. Kerik, who is married, beginning in the spring of 2001, when her imprint, Regan Books, began work on his memoir, 'The Lost Son.' In December 2004, after the relationship had ended and shortly after Mr. Kerik’s homeland security nomination fell apart, newspapers reported that the two had carried on the affair at an apartment near ground zero that had been donated as a haven for rescue and recovery workers."

Regan has an unerring flair for getting attention and perfect pitch for bad taste. It's a wonder Murdoch ever let her go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never met Judith Regan, of course, but it isn't hard to see that she is a real sweetheart.

Back in the Clinton years they called Paula Jones an angry woman. Paula always struck me as a girl who had been told there was money to be made,though she did seem to have an angry husband.

Now Judith, this is an angry woman. And one who appears tough and mean. This is a straight razor totin' woman.