Regan and Murdoch Settle

By the time it was over, the case had touched on allegations of sex, lies, a secret audio recording and anti-Semitism--and of course, the whole saga had started with a murder. The legal battle between Judith Regan (the publisher who acquired O. J. Simpson's hot-potato "If I Did It" manuscript) and Rupert Murdoch (the media titan who quashed the book, fired her and was charged in her suit for wrongful termination), played out with a whimper Friday. The two sides reached a negotiated settlement. In a statement, Murdoch's News Corp. announced the combatants were "pleased" to have reached an " an equitable, confidential" conclusion to the mudfest.
Neither side admitted it was wrong. Regan's financial payoff, although probably considerably less than the $100 million she was seeking, was not disclosed. News Corp. conceded that, "After carefully considering the matter, we accept Ms. Regan's position that she did not say anything that was anti-Semitic in nature, and further believe that Ms. Regan is not anti-Semitic." The company called Regan "a talented publisher" of "award winning and best selling books" which helped fill the coffers of Murdoch's book-publishing giant HarperCollins, where Regan had commanded ReganBooks, her own imprint.
Regan was equally diplomatic about her former employer. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many gifted people," she said in her statement.
The showdown began with Regan's Simpson book; Murdoch cancelled publication in the face of public outrage over the project. News Corp. soon fired her, allegedly for making anti-Semetic remarks. In November, Regan filed her $100 million lawsuit, accusing News Corp. of, among other things, making her a scapegoat in the Simpson controversy, targeting her with a "deliberate smear campaign" and illegally firing her.
In the most sensational twist, Regan's lawsuit accused the company of political and corporate skullduggery, detailed in a 70-page complaint. She alleged that a News Corp. executive, who wasn't named, once asked her to "lie to, and to withhold information from" federal investigators who were then looking into one-time New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik, a ReganBooks author who had cheated on his wife with Regan. Disclosing the information (the News Corp. executive explained, according to the lawsuit) might damage the presidential bid of Rudolph Giuliani, Kerik's former boss and business partner.
Then in December, as NEWSWEEK reported, News Corp. and Regan resumed settlement talks after the emergence of a secret tape recording that presumably buttressed some of Regan's allegations. Now shrouded in confidential terms and payments, the full details of this real-life potboiler may remain forever sealed.