DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Judith Regan Sues Murdoch Empire

Publisher claims firing done to protect Giuliani presidential bid

View Document

Judith Regan Sues Murdoch Empire

NOVEMBER 13--Judith Regan, the volcanic publishing industry figure who sought to publish O.J. Simpson's 'I Did It' (and trysted with Bernard Kerik in an apartment overlooking Ground Zero) today sued Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate for defamation, claiming that she was unjustly tarred as an anti-Semite when fired last year.

In a blistering $100 million lawsuit filed today in New York State Supreme Court, Regan, 54, accuses several defendants, including Murdoch's News Corporation and HarperCollins Publishers, of orchestrating a smear campaign that was intended to advance the Murdoch political agenda and protect 'Rudy Giuliani's presidential ambitions.' Additionally, Regan alleges that a News Corporation 'senior executive' counseled her in December 2004 to 'lie and withhold information' from investigators who apparently were vetting Kerik for the post of Homeland Security secretary. A second unnamed News Corporation executive, Regan adds, advised her 'not to produce clearly relevant documents in connection with a governmental investigation' of Kerik.

The complaint does not specify whether that investigation was connected to the Homeland Security job or, perhaps, the federal probe that resulted last week in Kerik's indictment. According to Regan, Murdoch employees were aware of her personal relationship with Kerik and, fearing she had damaging information on Giuliani's former police commissioner and business partner, 'knew they would be protecting Giuliani if they could preemptively discredit her.' The Murdoch firms did this, Regan charges, by claiming she made anti-Semitic statements during a phone conversation with a HarperCollins lawyer. However, the ousted editor alleges, the offensive statements were never made-an assertion she says is backed up by a temporary secretary who listened in on the call in question.

An excerpt from Regan's sprawling 72-page complaint (which even quotes from the tawdry sex suit once filed against Fox News Channel star Bill O'Reilly) can be found here. The entire lawsuit, in a PDF form, can be downloaded here. (4 pages)