This morning, the Daily News ran an excerpt from a first-person Harper's Bazaar article by Judith Regan, in which the former editor announces that she's going to start staying out of the spotlight. Hidden at the bottom of the News summary was a reference to an evening where Regan, licking her wounds from the bad publicity of her O.J. Simpson If I Did It book debacle, ducks into a karaoke bar in Chinatown and belts out Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Of course, we were dying to hear more about this anecdote, and not just because we're pretty sure we've sang that exact song in that exact bar. So we tracked down a pdf of the article to read more:
During the ordeal, my friends stood by me. Blair Sabol made bracelets in support of me. Kate Li, with whom I used to sing in the Vassar Madrigals, traveled to visit me in New York in August. We wandered into a karaoke bar in Chinatown. It was crowded, full of young people who couldn't sing, and thankfully too noisy to really hear anyone. I'd studied voice as a young woman but always hated performing. For the first time in my life, I didn't have stage fright. The song we sang was "My Way."
A diner at the Waverly Inn overheard Judith Regan claiming that Rupert Murdoch is regularly hit by wife Wendi. Marilyn Manson may or may not have been asking for coke and Adderall in the bathroom of Bette last week. Helena Christensen's 7-year-old son, Mingus, is a chess genius. Howard Stern thinks Beth Ostrosky has invited too many people to their wedding. Lance Armstrong chatted with Blackstone's Pete Peterson at the Four Seasons. Cindy Adams claims that Colin Powell told friends that he sympathizes with General Petraeus but that he's "digging his own foxhole" (or some approximation thereof).
In a discomfiting turn of events, the family of murder victim Ron Goldman has decided to publish O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It, the fictionalized tell-all from Simpson's perspective about what happened the night Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were killed. We've been waiting all day to hear which New York publishing company will reap the benefits, but thus far, no announcement. Last month, the Goldmans were awarded the rights to the book by a federal judge, since they are owed $33.5 million in damages by the former football star. It will be published with "commentary" from the family. The book's agent is Sharlene Martin, who made a name for herself by repping celebrity tell-alls like You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again (by Michael Ovtiz's angry former nanny) and the unsold This Used to Be My Playground (by Madonna's angry former nanny). Whatever publishing house prints the book should hire Martin, because she understood what Judith Regan never did: You can't write books about killing people unless the surviving families get in on the deal. Duh.
New York Company to Publish O.J. Simpson Book [Reuters]
• A JP Morgan analyst got canned for writing a report about a fictional Apple product, the iPhone Nano. [Apple 2.0 via DealBreaker]
• Using the screen name Rahodeb, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey posted on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards to bash competitor Wild Oats. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• The SEC tries to reclaim authority over hedge funds by writing rules allowing the agency to sue for misleading investors. [Bloomberg]
Judith Regan has secret tapes that may help her $20 million lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch. The Land Rovers and helicopters used to launch a new Ralph Lauren cologne may have disturbed a community of East Hampton piping plovers. Cindy Adams, who has a vendetta against Larry David because he dissed her once, claims that Laurie had been stepping out on him for quite some time (and that he's being set up with Ellen Barkin). Olivia Newton-John really liked Xanadu. OK! dropped $400,000 on sex pics of Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo, but the mag won't publish them. Claire Danes may have landed the lead in the Pygmalion revival because the director directed her boyfriend in Journey's End. Annie Leibowitz angered the Queen of England by asking her to remove her crown during a photo shoot.
O.J. Simpson had a ghostwriter for his never-released memoir, If I Did It (who'd have thunk it!) and even practiced a crying scene for his TV interview with Judith Regan. Barry Bonds's ex-mistress, who has alleged that the slugger has used steroids, is shopping a tell-all and nude pictorial. Enrique Iglesias wishes he were gay. Nathan Lane wants to start a heterosexual pride parade, with George W. Bush as grand marshal. Jay McInerney is sick of telling people he broke his foot chasing after a taxi. Madonna didn't invite Janet Jackson to sit at her booth at Butter, though she did hang out with Shakira. Also: Ashton, Demi, and Penélope were there. The flowers at the Waldorf-Astoria wedding of billionaire Russian heiress Angelina Anisimova and real-estate developer Ryan Freedman cost $1 million. John McCain didn't wash his hands before leaving a restroom in East Hampton.
• Good-bye, long weekends at the Hamptons. Merrill Lynch employees now have just three sick days a year, down from an unimaginable 40. [DealBook/NYT]
• At Renaissance Technologies, no traders and analysts need apply. The hedge fund hires only physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, and computer scientists. [Reuters via Deal Breaker]
• Some notable Wall Street wives (Mrs. Leon Black, Mrs. Steven Roth, and Mrs. Carter McClelland, to name a few) backed the recent flop Coram Boy, the most expensive play ever staged on Broadway. [DealJournal/WSJ]
• Mad Money host Jim Cramer (and New York columnist) recalls his good old days of stock manipulation. [YouTube via NYP]
• Activist shareholder Evelyn Y. Davis demands that the board of Goldman Sachs stop distributing stock options immediately. [DealBook/NYT]
• Wannabe buyer attacks Smith & Wollensky CEO, claiming that accepting another, lower bid would personally benefit Alan Stillman. [Crain's]
Former Sotheby's head Alfred Taubman claims he had no part in the price-fixing scandal that put him in jail in 2002. A cabbie claims Terrence Howard asked a blonde lady friend to engage in a rather disgusting grooming procedure, though Howard's rep denies it was he. Bono took a private tour of Harvard, perhaps for one of his kids. Tina Brown and Harold Evans threw a dinner party for Helen Mirren. Judith Miller had lunch with Mort Zuckerman. Lindsay Lohan left one club for another because she thought her dad, recently released from prison, was about to show up. More firings may be imminent in CBS' news division. Natalia McLennan, once dubbed the No. 1 call girl in the city by New York Magazine, is back working as a prostitute.
Don King will meet the Pope on March 21. Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a low-end fashion line. Judith Regan is in China signing a TV deal. New Line execs want Jake Gyllenhaal to play Captain Marvel, but they'll have to get to him before he's tapped for Spider-Man 3. Sushi joint Bond St is closing for a month due to an electrical fire. Jennifer Hudson and American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino hit the clubs in Chicago. The weekly paper City Hall asked pundits to nickname presidential candidates, and Ed Koch called Hillary Clinton "Lady Godiva," though he meant Lady Guinevere.
Judith Regan may be gone from the publishing world (at least for now), but her projects live on (at least for now). Last we heard about her orphaned volumes of controversy, an attention-seeking Canadian publisher was proclaiming its interest in bringing out O.J.'s confession. (Not, you know, that anyone asked, or that they held rights to it.) Today's news, buried as a squib in the Times, is that Lyons Press, a division of Globe Pequot, has agreed to publish 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel, another controversial project from the late-Regan period. The pub date has yet to be announced, and the print run is pegged at 250,000. "I think all the negative publicity came from people who haven't read it," Gene Brissie, Globe Pequot's associate publisher, told the Times, perhaps a touch aggressively. Of course, as New York's Vanessa Grigoriadis reported a few weeks ago, the Mantle book — and not the disastrous O.J. project — is what really got Regan fired from HarperCollins. So we can imagine why Brissie would be playing a strong defense.
7, Mantle Novel, Finds a Publisher [NYT]
Even Bitches Have Feelings [NYM]
Wall Street buyout king Stephen Schwarzman threw a party at the Park Avenue Armory. It cost $3 million. Lydia Hearst is only giving away her limited-edition purses to "role models"; Britney Spears asked for one at last week's Heatherette show but was turned down. An executive assistant at Jive Records was fired for using interns to sell pre-release Justin Timberlake albums at $50 a pop. Registered nurse Judi Giuliani helped out a sick passenger on an airplane. Bill and Hillary are having Valentine's Day dinner at a secret location tonight. Mario Batali won a lawsuit against his landlord at Del Posto. Paris Hilton will celebrate her birthday this Saturday with Nicole Richie and Snoop Dogg.
Excuse us if our English major past compels us to notice that, in the extensive coverage of the decline and fall of Judith Regan, there are by now certain recurring themes emerging. We're not entirely sure why — either certain Judith peccadilloes make the best copy, or reporters are lazy, or the woman really only does six things — but in the new Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff's latest addition to the genre hews strictly to the storyline. Indeed, there's no need to read the article; we'll tell you the latest updates on the standard plotlines.
Last week we learned that recently deposed book editor Judith Regan kept all sorts of weird things in her office, including clothes, her kids' report cards, and an enormous portrait of herself. In this week's New York, Vanessa Grigoriadis tells us so much more about the woman:
1. While all the O.J.-Jews-firing saga was going on, Regan was on a 21-day liquid fast — no chewing allowed! — that allowed her to eat only an "infusion of berry drinks, enzyme shots, hot tea, live juice, and a once-a-day treat of soup — a mélange of carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach puréed in the Cuisinart."
Thing's You'd Find in Our Office If We Were Fired
Desk drawer: Post-its, rubber bands, tampon, CapitalOne bill, draft of resume
Shoved in closet: All papers belonging to previous resident of office
Tacked to wall: Picture of ex (forgot to take down)
Things HarperCollins Found in Judith Regan's Office After She Was Fired
Desk drawer: Financial statements, will, children's report cards, divorce papers
Shoved in closet: Clothing, unopened Christmas gifts
Hung on wall: 30-foot high painting of Judith Regan
Pinup Emotions Surface in Wake of Regan's Firing [NYDN]
Lawyers for HarperCollins are in possession of Judith Regan's financial statements, will, divorce papers, photographs of her children, unopened Christmas gifts, and a 20-by-30-foot painting of her, among other things. Because she left them all at that office. Ralph Ellison didn't like Norman Mailer and his beat pals because they reduced the world to sex. As Harvey Weinstein was buying the rights to her movie, Mandy Moore was making out with D.J. AM. Hugo Chavez tried to meet Gisele when they were both in Rio, but she shot him down. Owen Wilson hung out with Kate Hudson in Australia.
Is it our imagination, or have we been noticing an uptick lately in glowing profiles of old-school book editors? (Maybe we're just projecting: We've only read Bennett Cerf's At Random, oh, eight times.) Today's Times brings the recap of another ceremony, this one honoring the 50-year career of Random House's Robert Loomis, who counts among his authors William Styron, Maya Angelou, and Calvin Trillin. As profiles go, it's pretty straightforward: a roundup of Loomis's cute editing quirks, reminiscences of an era before bloated auctions and editorial meetings — really? no meetings in the good old days? — and sighs for the days when an editor could merely, you know, edit, rather than being a multimedia star. It's charming boilerplate, all of it, but we're more interested in why the media is suddenly obsessed with attending the publishing industry's version of a Kiwanis send-off. Are newspapers for some reason desperately trying to remove Eau de Regan from the publishing world? (We're pretty sure the lede "Robert Loomis has never been fired" doesn't refer to the days before downsizing.) And, if so, we're eagerly awaiting fawning profiles of every editorial assistant who's managed not to scream anti-Semitic rants into the phone.
A Career in Letters, 50 Years and Counting [NYT]
Earlier:Forget the Columbia Course; Aspiring Editors Should Work on Farms
Conflict of interest alert! The Post's state editor, Fredric U. Dicker, has been getting paid to make speeches by the New York Bankers Association. Citigroup's head of wealth management, Todd Thomson, left the firm yesterday, perhaps because he flew his friends around too often on the corporate jet. The Bachelor's Lorenzo Borghese is dating the show's runner-up, but he also hit on Tinsley Mortimer's sister Dabney. Jared Leto got angry and Sienna Miller partied with Diddy and Josh Hartnett at Sundance. Also, Jared Leto was not pleased to hear that fellow Scarlett Johansson pal Justin Timberlake was to perform at a party he was at. Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst celebrated their marriage in Palm Beach with a gaggle of society folk.
As pleasingly intriguing as it is to realize that a few stray copies of O.J. Simpson's If I Did It are floating around, we're even more pleased that one landed in the capable hands of Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott. So, James, was the ReganBooks fiasco worth the ensuing scandal? His answer, it seems: Not so much. In a review-cum-condemnation posted to VF.com today, Wolcott is most struck by the banality of the allegedly incendiary material, noting that O.J.'s story is a "suave void" in which the running back turned movie star presents himself as a passive figure in his marriage and the murders, only slightly less inert than ghostwriter Pablo Fenvjes's prose. Don't think that means you shouldn't read the review itself, though. Even if O.J. isn't able to spin more than a yawn-yarn from his story of a wife-beating marriage, double murder, and Trial of the Century, Wolcott's toss-offs, like his gloriously alliterative contortion — "a shameless yet ingeniously opaque cockteaser of a cash-in confessional (who knew a book about a double homicide could be so flipping coy?)" — are the closest this case will ever get to poetic justice.
Murder, He Wrote (Sort Of) [VF.com]