Toobin tome to tally toll of prez scandal

Scribe pens pact with Random House

NEW YORK — Will there be books on the Monica Lewinsky case? You’re darn Toobin.

New Yorker staff writer and ABC News legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is planning one about how Paula Jones and now Monica Lewinsky have affected the U.S. presidency.

Toobin’s deal is one of the first books about the Lewinsky affair to be confirmed since Clinton’s testimony and mea culpa on Aug. 17. Other deals are said to be in the works by New York trade publishers, who originally were wary of committing to books on the subject until a sense of outcome is clearer.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that once Clinton gave his testimony, we wanted people to know we had this book,” Random House president and editor-in-chief Ann Godoff told Daily Variety. “This is now an event of historical significance that requires the kind of analysis Jeffrey can give.”

Toobin told Daily Variety that he had been in talks the Random House to do a book on the Jones case “when it looked like it was going to trial but once it was dismissed in April, it was put on hold. Now it seems to me that the story had reached an intensity,” he said.

Given the breaking news of the subject matter, Toobin has no publication date set. The deal, brokered by literary agent Esther Newberg, is the second between Toobin and Random House, which published his previous bestseller “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

While he reportedly received a mid-six-figure advance for that book, Toobin would only note that he got “journalist money, not celebrity money” this time around.

In December 1997 former White House aide George Stephanopolous received a reported $2.75 million advance for his memoir from Little Brown. The book, originally set for release in November but now pushed to December at the earliest, is expected to discuss Lewinsky and other events that have arisen since the book’s signing.

Regarding possible pending deals, Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff is rumored to be signed to a mid-six-figure advance for a book to be published by Random House division Crown, but Crown spokeswoman Hilary Bass would only confirm that Crown editorial director Steve Ross had met with Isikoff and his agent, Gail Ross, and “would love to do his book.”

Lewinsky herself is reportedly being pursued in particular by Regan Books publisher Judith Regan, who has publicly stated she would pay up to $5 million for Lewinsky’s story.

As for Lucianne Goldberg, the literary agent who was a key player in the Lewinsky scandal: She told Daily Variety in usual coy fashion that “I’m not going to do a book. I’ve been there, done that. But I’ll cooperate with anyone with theirs.”

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