I walk past a row of cubicles to find an underling who directs me to “Judith” (no last name needed).
After a short wait, Regan, whose trademark long brown hair has grayed slightly, joins me in a conference room, wearing a clean-pressed pantsuit and platforms on a chilly Manhattan day, carrying a stack of her latest proofs.
‘s Lloyd Grove Patti wanted to set her up with, and we sincerely regret that it didn’t happen. Patti swoops in with her three alternatives: An actor named Dave Lagner, a comedian named Chris Griggs, and Mr.
Instead, Judith Regan went on a date with a comedian who maintains a Website called boozecoma.com, the tagline of which is: “Excess drinking for a better tomorrow.” It’s important, at this point, to remind everyone of the basic law of reality show appearances: Genuinely well-known people do not make them unless they either have a point to prove or something to sell.
In the late ’90s, there was no bigger name in the publishing world than Regan. The hyper-aggressive queen bee of the printed word dominated the bestseller list with a steady stream of celebrity tell-alls, including Jenna Jameson’s “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star” and Howard Stern’s “Private Parts.” But in 2006, after nabbing what should have been her biggest coup — O. Simpson’s “If I Did It,” a pseudo-murder confession — Regan was promptly fired from Harper Collins.
She eventually sued and won .75 million for defamation, and in an ironic twist, the O. book was released by the family of victim Ron Goldman, and became a best-seller. Regan, 62, has spent years trying to claw her way out of literary jail and is re-aiming her sights on Hollywood after a failed attempt a decade ago to peddle her salacious titles to the town.
“Let me tell you,” Patti sighs, “those bitches were not easy.” Earlier: She’s Back, and She’s In New York Click here for access to comments COMMENTING CHARGES Daily rate: Monthly rate: Yearly rate: 0 WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Patti walks her out, then turns back to her tireless sidekicks Destin and Rachel.
At 40, Munson was institutionalized after an enraptured suitor killed his wife to be with her.
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A normal person might be kind of offended, but not Regan. She looks back at him and says, “Well, you finally made eye contact with me.” And what we appear to have before us is something unprecedented in the history of : A moment of honest-to-goodness genuine human connection. He talks about walking around Central Park at dawn, “when it’s still a park.” (We’re not sure what it turns into later in the day, but it’s a nice line.) Regan holds him in her steady gaze. He stops short and says he’d like to take her to the park at dawn. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse).
Bruce tells it to her straight: “It’s dicks, not chicks.” Regan looks crushed. None of the three appear to know who she is, and she tells them she left book publishing not in a fiery flameball of fury and legal action following Rupert Murdoch’s decision to oust her following the O. book fiasco, but simply that she likes to “mix things up.” Not an untrue statement! “It just takes the right guy to let the juices flow.” Grody.
At Delmonico’s, a restaurant absolutely no one ever goes to down in the Financial District. “The cooch doesn’t need to be sewn up,” she announces. Regan Arts’ list ranges from Khloe Kardashian’s tabloid-friendly title “Strong Looks Better Naked” to “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.” The question facing traditional publishers like Regan is whether they can adapt to the digital age and get people to plop down dollars for physical copies of books.