Simpson’s Would-Be Publisher Shown the Door

That book project with O.J. Simpson may have led to the termination of the publisher who arranged the deal, reports the Houston Chronicle.

HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman said in a statement late Friday, “Judith Regan‘s employment with HarperCollins has been terminated effective immediately,” and offered no explanation of the firing. But it was just weeks ago that Rupert Murdoch pulled the plug on his company’s plans to publish Simpson’s “hypothetical confession,” If I Did It.

Regan has turned out hits for decades from some high-profile celebrities. But a colleague suggests that this particular project might have been the nail in the coffin: “She’s a tremendously inventive publisher, but I guess she just pushed the envelope too far,” said Jonathan Karp, publisher of the Warner Twelve imprint at the Hachette Book Group.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing for the publishing industry? If the Simpson deal was the reason for her termination, are we seeing signs of moral conscience at work, or was Murdoch crazy to give the boot to someone so successful at making headlines (and generating publicity) for her titles?

What do you think?


  1. This woman and Fox were a perfect match. She has always gone for the exploitative biographies. Each one she’s published has been met with the ire of the person who is the subject of the work. Most exclaimed there were large chunks she fabricated, and large chunks which when challenged, she was unable to substantiate.

    I only hope she is gone and we don’t have to have yet another of her works stick its head above water again.

  2. Oh, btw, HarperCollins didn’t give her the boot. As you mentioned, Rupert Murdoch did, apparently in person. He’s the owner/head of the company that owns HC, so technically, it wasn’t the publisher that fired her.

    And since she came up with the whole “confession” book idea herself, and she’s also in hot water for having bought a salacious novel about Mickey Mantle, her days really were numbered.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.