JUDITH REGAN: IT GETS WORSE
From the New York Daily News:
Two publishing insiders allege the woman behind that O.J. Simpson book regularly compared Jewish people to "rodents."
"I heard her say it multiple times," one source told us. "She thought Jews looked or acted like rats. She called them 'rodentia.'"
Another source said, "I can attest to that. She would call them 'rodentia.' She would just say it in passing. Did I ask her why? I didn't even want to go down that road with her." ...
Regan was fired last week after she ranted that a "Jewish cabal" was "conspiring" to smear her in the media and ruin her career, a spokesman for her former employer claimed on Monday....
Regan and her lawyer, Bert Fields, deny all this. Fields also denies allegations posted a few days ago at Gawker:
A tipster writes of Regan, "She was constantly muttering about 'Jew agents' in the office and once claimed to staffers that, as a joke, she went through her old apartment building on the Upper West Side, took all the torah scrolls out of the mezzuzahs at the doors and replaced them with torn-up dollar bills."
But, er, The New York Times says today that two top HarperCollins executives and "a third person involved in the incident" have confirmed the mezuza story, and that the company reprimanded her for this at the time.
This is all going to get very complicated for the Murdoch Empire. Fred Goldman, father of Ron, has now sued O.J. Simpson, claiming that his If I Did It deal was structured in a way to sidestep the civil judgment against Simpson; according to yesterday's New York Times,
Lawyers for Mr. Goldman said their suit would ultimately include HarperCollins, News Corporation and Ms. Regan as defendants.
The second likely lawsuit, as Rachel Sklar points out at the Huffington Post, would be Regan's suit against the Murdoch Empire for defamation.
Was Regan fired to put some distance between Murdoch and the Simpson project, in anticipation of the Goldman lawsuit? (But as Sklar notes, the Simpson project was approved well above Regan's pay grade.) On the other hand, was Regan really anti-Semitic, and really fired for that reason? As Sklar says:
Sure, she may have said it, but were they slurs or just outrageous trash talk from a woman who was known to be offensive as hell -- and tolerated for same? ... if Regan was known to fling slurs about indiscriminately -- about Jews, gays, blacks, whoever -- then that lack of specificity accrues to her favor (i.e. the more awful she can prove she was, the better it will be for her case).
"Known to fling slurs about indiscriminately"? For that, let's go to the January '05 Vanity Fair:
And politically correct she is not. Many staffers -- and other colleagues -- had epithets according to their sexual orientation or ethnicity: "I was the lesbian cunt," says one former competitor. "Then there was the black cunt." When she got mad, people were called "fucking retards" and "fucking idiots"; if she got really mad, she'd accuse people of being either "fags" or "on drugs" or, preferably, both. "Judith was always insisting to me I was gay -- and if some issue came up that involved women, I knew nothing, because -- she'd shout at me -- 'You've never slept with a woman!' And I was like, O.K., whatever!" says Dana Isaacson, now an editor at Random House.
"She'd seem so normal at some points," he adds wistfully. "Then, you know, the next minute she'd be screaming about the faggot mafia."
I don't know who's going to win which lawsuit. I do know this, though: An awful lot of gaseous moral self-righteousness emanates from Murdoch Land, and I think the whole damn lot of them need to see an ophthalmologist to get that beam looked at.
(Vanity Fair link via Julia in the comments to this post.)