Our neighbor Roger Parloff, over at the Legal Pad, brings us an examination of one of the more bizarre stories making the rounds this week. In truth, I had been ducking this one because, well, I didn’t actually care, but anytime Hizzoner Giuliani comes up even remotely associated with a “golden vagina”, well, you have at least my sense of humor’s attention.
But what’s remarkable about the complaint is how far it ventures beyond merely disputing that she said anything anti-Semitic in that fateful phone call — a seemingly winnable, he-said-she-said squabble had her lawyers stopped her there.
Instead, they’ve allowed her to allege that News Corp. had actually been plotting her demise for at least five years before the Simpson debacle. “This smear campaign was necessary to advance News Corp.’s political agenda, which has long centered on protecting Rudy Giuliani’s presidential ambitions,” they write in paragraph 1 of the complaint. “Defendants knew they would be protecting Giuliani if they could preemptively discredit her,” the complaint continues.
Regan’s saying that News Corp. has been undermining her credibility for years because it feared she knew about unspecified skeletons in Giuliani’s closet that she had learned during her 2001 affair with then-Mayor Giuliani’s then-Police Chief Bernard Kerik and, further, that the company anticipated Regan might go public with if Giuliani ever ran for president.
The company also needed to discredit her, she theorizes, in case she were ever to reveal that two senior News Corp. executives had allegedly advised her to lie to investigators and conceal evidence from them when they began probing Kerik.
A spokeswoman for News Corp. has called the suit “preposterous,” and a spokesperson for HarperCollins and Friedman echoed that sentiment to me.
The defendants’ first attempt to discredit Regan occurred in 2001, she alleges. (The timeline is puzzling, since Kerik did not first come under suspicion for criminal wrongdoing until 2004, and, as a consequence, it wasn’t publicly known until then that he might pose any problems for Giuliani, assuming Giuliani ever did announce for president, as he finally did this year. Kerik pled guilty to two state misdemeanor charges in 2006, and was charged in a 16-count federal indictment last week. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.)
Confused? Don’t feel bad. I am.
At least we get a glimpse inside the mind of the woman who thought O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It was a good idea.
If you’re interested, Mr. Parloff has made the complaint available via PDF. Be warned, though, it is seventy pages long. I haven’t started even trying to understand it.
Oh, yeah … if I promise, I must deliver:
Along the way, Regan also dredges up some stories I hadn’t previously heard about and which, had I been her lawyer, I might have chosen to let lie. She complains, for instance, that some unidentified person — it’s unclear from the complaint if it’s even a News Corp. employee — had attributed Regan’s success to her “golden vagina,” but that “when Regan complained about this sexist and insulting remark, nothing was ever done.”
Really, it gets even stranger than that.