Publisher of O J Simpson book sacked following 'offensive' phone call

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The Independent US

Judith Regan, the celebrity publisher at the centre of the O J Simpson "confession" row, has been sacked by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp after an "offensive" phone call to a lawyer at the group's publishing unit, HarperCollins.

The dismissal of the Los Angeles-based Ms Regan was announced in a terse two-paragraph statement from the HarperCollins chief executive, Jane Fried-man. The sacking at first seemed linked to the Simpson memoir If I Did It, linked to TV interviews in which the former football star set out the scenario of how he could have murdered his wife, although he was acquitted in 1995. The book was pulled, and Mr Murdoch had to make a rare public apology.

But the Los Angeles Times says that was only one factor. Another was advance criticism of another Regan venture, a "re-imagining" of the life of Mickey Mantle, the hard-living and hard-drinking baseball superstar, with the final straw being the call to the lawyer. No details were available of what she said, but sources said she was offensive.

The dismissal ends a 12-year career in which the brash, publicity-loving Ms Regan turned her imprint ReganMedia into a powerhouse within the Murdoch empire, publishing books about high-profile people.