Think back five long years ago, when hot shot publisher-to-the-stars Judith Regan was embroiled in a huge scandal that was the talk of the media world: after HarperCollins fired her, Regan sued them. In her suit, she alleged that a mystery News Corp executive had told her to lie to federal investigators who were vetting former NYPD chief Bernie Kerik—a man that Regan slept with.
Robert De Niro turns 66 today. Sean Penn is turning 49. Controversial book publisher Judith Regan is 56. Yankees star Jorge Posada is turning 38. J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are both turning 65 today. John McDonald, the restaurateur behind Lure Fishbar, Chinatown Brasserie, and the now-closed Lever House, is 41. Jonathan Franzen, the author of The Corrections, is 50. E! host Giuliana DePandi Rancic is 34. Nicola Kraus, the co-author of The Nanny Diaries, is 35. Hollywood exec Gail Berman is turning 53. Singer Belinda Carlisle is 51. Retired tennis player Jim Courier turns 39. Donnie Wahlberg is turning 40. Former Senator Norm Coleman is 60. And Rick Hilton, father of Paris and Nicky, turns 54 today.
• Sean Avery may be spending a lot more time in New York in the near future: Hockey's preeminent bad boy has been cut loose by the Dallas Stars just 23 games into a four-year contract. [NYP]
• Jennifer Aniston was supposedly so desperate to have a boyfriend during the promotional tour for Marley & Me that her camp started "shopping for potential dates." [P6]
• David Paterson was not at all pleased with the impression of him on SNL this weekend. [NYP]
• Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber had a second son on Saturday. [People, E!]
♦ David Pecker's AMI, the publisher of the Star and National Enquirer, has been near bankruptcy for months. Now it's one step closer. [NYP]
♦ The details of Judith Regan's settlement with News Corp. have been revealed: It cost the company $10.75 million to make her go away. [Bloomberg]
♦ Janet Robinson says there are no plans to sell the Times. [E&P]
♦ A brief explanation for why newspapers are so screwed right now. [NYT, AP]
♦ An increasingly desperate OK! has cut the price of the mag. [NYP]
♦ The reorganization of Random House will likely leave Sonny Mehta the big winner. [NYO]
♦ Les Moonves on the state of network TV: "The model ain't broke." [THR]
♦ Gus Van Sant's Milk was named by the New York Film Critics Circle as the best film of 2008. [THR]
Remember Judith Regan? She was famous for publishing anything at her Newscorp/HarperCollins imprint, Regan books—as long as it was trashy, salacious, and celeb-autobiography oriented, like O.J. Simpson's If I Did It (which Newscorp killed.) She was like the National Enquirer of book publishers. In 2006, she was fired for saying something about the Jews, and she filed a $100 million lawsuit. It was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, but, as the Observer brought to our attention, we now know the figure that NewsCorp paid out to shut her up—$10.75 mil. Damn—that's a lot of lawyering. Update: When called for comment by our intern James Frey, Jonathan Burnham, publisher of HarperCollins, said "no comment."
Judith Regan, former high-powered publisher with News Corp.'s HaperCollins, who notoriously carried on a gross affair with disgraced criminal former top cop Bernie Kerik in a Ground Zero apartment, and who was fired for, among other things, embarrassing the company with her O.J. Simpson book (and some alleged anti-Semitic comments), and who settled a wrongful dismissal suit with News Corp. for a rumored $20m–$25m (or maybe $10m) will need that money to pay off her old lawyers, whom she dismissed in favor of showbiz law legend Bert Fields. Regan's old lawyers at Dreier LLP say they worked 1,200 hours and received only $125,000. Fields says the suit brought by the old attorneys is without merit. And it was reported in Page Six, a happy part of the News Corp.
cabal family. [NYP]
The virtues of going quietly are much overstated. Book publisher Judith Regan, an incredibly aggressive executive in an incredibly passive industry, was offered $6m after being fired by her employer, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. After she threatened to expose a call from a Murdoch henchman — urging her not to testify against her former lover, Bernie Kerik — the terms improved. Maybe she could have gotten a better deal if Kerik still had the potential to embarrass the former Republican front-runner, Rudy Giuliani. Even so, the rumored $20m-$25m payoff in today's settlement is a nice improvement over Murdoch's initial offer. (Update: Another source says more like $10m, though definitions may vary.) Even after legal fees, and a slanging match (anti-semite! Giu-lovers!) with some of the dirtiest players in politics and media. If anyone could out-slang Roger Ailes, the former Nixon aide who built up Fox News for Murdoch, it's Judith Regan.
Judith Regan, the maverick publisher fired from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation after she pressed ahead with a book by O.J. Simpson, has settled with her former employer. Regan is not an anti-Semite; Murdoch henchman, Roger Ailes, did not pressure her to keep quiet about her former lover, dodgy Giuliani aide Bernie Kerik; and O.J. is not guilty. Whatever. The only question: how much did Rupert Murdoch pay to make the increasingly deranged Regan Books founder shut up? Answer: not as much as she would would have received before the primaries began. Rudy Giuliani's campaign is faltering and, with it, Regan's leverage. It's moot whether Fox News creator and former Nixon aide, Ailes, pressured Regan to save the Giuliani's presidential bid. It's now beyond saving. Update: A newspaper source says Regan's settlement is $25m. Pah, nothing!
Anyone else hearing that FBI showed up to the McGraw-Hill building in Manhattan looking for Judith Regan? The Feds thought the controversial publishing impresario would be at the Sirius office, in the 6th Avenue skyscraper, for her Wednesday appearance on the satellite radio network, according to a tipster. But the show is pre-taped on Tuesday, so she wasn't there. The FBI agents told the Sirius receptionist they were sending a team to Regan's house as well. What on earth would they be looking for?
"Probably my finest skill relates to art directing the process, which includes the design, the marketing, and the sales. The books on my list were so beautifully designed, I used to take art direction credits under a pseudonym—I didn't want anyone to know," fired publisher Judith Regan told the Observer last week. That pseudonym, according to a ReganBooks insider? "Giulietta Regan." Subtle! Then again, subtlety isn't exactly what we've come to expect from the woman who recently wrote in Harper's Bazaar that "the media" "came out, guns blazing, and tried to kill me" over the publication of O.J.'s confession. In that same self-profile, Judith talked about feeling "betrayed," when no one would come to her defense, but according to the same ReganBooks employee, "She talks about betrayal, but she bred betrayal."
Karaoke chanteuse and former publisher Judith Regan turned down a $6.5 million settlement from her former employer HarperCollins, we learned a few too many words into today's Observer cover storyHer lawyer says she found that number "unacceptable," but is Judy really motivated by a desire for more wrongful-termination money? Based on the nutty scope of her suit (bringing down Rudy Giuliani! etc) and its timing, this article posits, it seems like she's more concerned with grabbing the spotlight than the cash. Also, this is confusing: in Judith's article about herself in Harper's Bazaar, she claims that she wants her "life to get smaller now, not bigger." So why is she now doing the most attention-getting stuff possible? Hey, is Judith Regan, like, crazy or something?