News Corp., Regan settle lawsuit

Company says book publisher 'not anti-Semitic'

News Corp. and Judith Regan, the flamboyant publisher whose HarperCollins imprint was dissolved in 2006 over O.J. Simpson’s quasi-confessional memoir “If I Did It,” have settled her $100 million wrongful termination lawsuit.

Terms were not disclosed, and neither side admits any liability under the agreement. While Regan likely walked away with just a fraction of the award sought by the suit, publishing vets say the deal nevertheless left her with a significant reward.

News Corp.’s statement also included this passage: “After carefully considering the matter, we accept Ms. Regan’s position that she did not say anything that was anti-Semitic in nature, and further believe that Ms. Regan is not anti-Semitic.”

A Harper attorney had claimed Regan blamed her ouster on a “Jewish cabal.” Bert Fields, who repped Regan in the case, strenuously denied that charge before eventually filing the suit last fall.

The planned publication of the Simpson book was disrupted in the fall of 2006 when News Corp. officials, alarmed by a growing backlash to a Fox TV interview that was to have featured Regan and Simpson, scrubbed the special.

Amid acrimony and finger-pointing as to who had signed off on the Simpson projects, they also jettisoned the book and closed Regan Books, shifting most of its list to HarperCollins.

Friday’s release about the settlement also included an exchange of pleasantries between the publisher and her onetime corporate bosses.

News Corp. lauded her as “a talented publisher,” thanked her for her “outstanding contributions and wishes her continued success.”

Regan said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many gifted people and am looking forward to my next venture.”

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