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Regan-News Corp. Talks Tank

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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It looks like Judith Regan and News Corp. will be meeting in court. After nearly producing an agreement, settlement talks between the controversy-courting publisher and the media conglomerate that fired her have fallen apart, according to a source close to Regan.

Ousted in December, following the furor over the canceled publication of O.J. Simpson's quasi-confessional, If I Did It, Regan has been threatening to sue News Corp. for libel and wrongful termination, insisting she took the fall for a decision that had backing from her bosses, including HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman and corporate honcho Rupert Murdoch.

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Earlier this year, according to sources, the two parties reached a tentative agreement in principle, whereby Regan would forego a suit and avoid disparaging her former employers in exchange for around $6 million. (According to one source, News Corp. wanted to space the payments out over time to keep Regan on a leash.)

But the deal fell apart nearly three weeks ago for reasons that are unclear. The source close to Regan said one sticking point was control over books in development at Regan Books, which has been temporarily renamed HC.

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A News Corp. spokesman declined to comment, and Regan's lawyer, Bert Fields, did not reply to a query.

Photo: Splash News & Picture Agency



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