Back in 2007, Judith Regan alleged in a lawsuit against News Corp. that a senior executive there urged her to lie to federal investigators about her affair with Bernard Kerik. Kerik had been nominated for the position of Homeland Security Chief under Bush, but was then dismissed after his personal foibles came to light. The executive hoped to keep Regan quiet because Kerik’s mentor Rudy Giuliani was running for the Republican nomination, and further embarrassment might injure the campaign. It was a double-punch scandal: News Corp. was revealed simultaneously to have pressured an employee to lie to the government and also to have thrown its weight around on behalf of a presidential candidate. But at the time, the executive in question remained nameless. Now, he’s been identified in court documents that have surfaced due to a filing error in a related case. It was Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes.
Regan apparently taped the conversation between her and Ailes, something that may have helped her secure a $10.75 million settlement for wrongful termination. (News Corp. claimed she was fired because she made an anti-Semitic remark, something she denies.) Neither the tape itself nor the transcript has surfaced. But a News Corp. spokeswoman did not deny that Ailes was the executive in question, saying simply that he “did not intend” to influence her and that “the matter is closed.”