Labor & Employment

Fired Book Publisher Sues, Claims ‘Deliberate Smear Campaign’

Former book publisher Judith Regan, fired after her decision to publish a book by O.J. Simpson called If I Did It, claims in a lawsuit filed yesterday that she lost her job based on a trumped-up charge.

The $100 million suit (PDF posted by the New York Times) also claims one of Regan’s bosses encouraged her to lie about a past affair with New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik after he was nominated to become homeland security secretary, the New York Times reports. The complaint alleges the executive wanted to protect the presidential ambitions of Rudolph Giuliani, who had appointed Kerik and recommended him for the federal position.

The suit filed in a Manhattan state court, names as defendants News Corp., HarperCollins Publishers, and HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.) It claims the media company fabricated charges that Regan had made anti-Semitic remarks to justify the firing.

“This action arises from a deliberate smear campaign orchestrated by one of the world’s largest media conglomerates for the sole purpose of destroying one woman’s credibility and reputation,” the suit says.

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