Thursday, November 15, 2007

Judith Regan, sigh

Judith Regan, erstwhile publisher of her eponymous imprint at HarperCollins, sigh. Last year about this time it was OJ (classy, classy) and now it's that she's suing HarperCollins for $100 mil in cold cash for her emotional trauma and defamation etc. Poor thing.

I have close industry acquaintances who did time at Regan Books (none lasted longer than 4 months--fancy that) and words they have commonly used to describe her are "sociopathic" and "bipolar" and "just plain mean" and "really kind of incredibly delusional" (which always begs the question, how did she make it to the top?! HOW? Do nice girls really always have to finish last? But Jane Friedman is a nice girl, and she's Harper CEO. On the other hand, Harper has had a dreadful first half of the year and poor Jane is getting all the flack. Anyway, these are all asides.). But if you're interested in what it would have been like to work for Judith Regan, I'll put in another plug for Bridie Clark's oh-so-very-thinly-veiled roman a clef, BECAUSE SHE CAN. Which is pretty well written for chick lit, since we recovering Ed Asses have to be able to write a little to get by.

But Judith, even when we thought she was down for the count, comes back and back again, our Immortal Beloved. One of the first posts I ever made on this blog, now almost a year ago, was also about Judith. She is a real character. Sammy, who is a car mechanic, knows her by name--it always amazes me when an industry celebrity's celebrity transcends the industry, because my assumption is always no one but book people care about book people, but when I said something along the lines of "there's this woman named Judith Regan" he said, "Yeah, I know her--she's Howard Stern's publisher!" So Judith gets another gold star for that.

If anyone still cares about Judith (and come on, how can you help it?):

Here's a chronology of her recent shenanigans stolen from Ron at GalleyCat. As you'll notice, she cleverly timed her exploits so that news about her would completely eclipse any news about the National Book Award winner for two consecutive years. Here's a Gawker blow-by-blow, with some colorful commentary.

My favorite line is from the Gawker "document": Judith is a hard-working, self-made, single mother who has been supporting herself since she was 14... That's the sad part. I really, really want to admire her, but from every single account in the world, including people I know, trust, and respect, she is just a terrible excuse for a human being. Just absolutely awful.

Update: just after I posted this, Lori Perkins posted her smart commentary here.


Bernita said...

Certainly blows away the concept of the "sympathetic villain."

Church Lady said...

Someone will write this story though. Who will it be?

Josephine Damian said...

Church Lady, who will play Judith in the movie version? Let's discuss.

If you wanna read my psychological diagnosis of this gal (one I made years ago when that Vanity Fair piece came out) go to the "Judy, Judy, Judy" post here and read my comment.