Feature

Why Regan’s not apologizing

Judith Regan still thinks she made the right decision, says Amy DuBois Barnett in Harper’s Bazaar. The fiery publisher, who made millions for HarperCollins with books by Gen. Tommy Franks, Howard Stern, and other celebrity authors, put her career on the l

Judith Regan still thinks she made the right decision, says Amy DuBois Barnett in Harper’s Bazaar. The fiery publisher, who made millions for HarperCollins with books by Gen. Tommy Franks, Howard Stern, and other celebrity authors, put her career on the line two years ago by commissioning a tell-all by O.J. Simpson. The book, called If I Did It, described, in strangely hypothetical terms, how the disgraced former football player could have killed his wife and Ron Goldman. But as the publication date neared, Regan was widely condemned for helping Simpson get a paycheck for exploiting his wife’s murder. “I got boxes of hate mail,” she says. “The mindless attacks were vicious, personal, and unrelenting. I had people harassing me everywhere. For days it was too frightening to leave my apartment. People lost all perspective. I felt like Faye Dunaway in the final scene of Bonnie and Clyde—bullets flying from every direction. If I hadn’t been in the middle of it, I would have been chasing me for the book and film rights.” In response to the uproar, HarperCollins canceled If I Did It and fired Regan for bad judgment. Two years later, the book has become a best-seller with another publisher, and Regan says she’s been vindicated by the reception. “Though some had buried their heads in the sand and said they’d never carry it, they did. As I’d always maintained, the book is regarded by many—including the Goldman family—as a confession.”

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