Canceled Simpson Book May Spark Lawsuit

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Goldman said he felt vindicated.

"How far or where this started internally at News Corp., I don't have any idea," he said Sunday night.

"Did any of them collectively think this was a good idea? I don't know. But the fact is that it was a horrendous idea and [Regan]'s name was attached to it and she paid a price and that's OK with me."

Last Laugh for the Goldmans

Goldman declined credit for the scuttling of the book project, even though he and his family launched www.dontpayoj.com, a Web site that garnered tens of thousands of e-signatures overnight by advocating a cyberboycott of HarperCollins and News Corp. after ABC News and other organizations reported on the online project.

"I think what happened here is that certainly the vast majority of the population in this country raised their collective voices and said 'No!'" he said.

"They said 'No!' to this disgusting book, said 'No!' to TV interviews to hawk this book," he said.

Regan told The New York Times last month that she had "contracted with a third party" that had told her the money would go to Simpson's children.

"They said the money was not going to Simpson," she said. "If it is, I hope Fred Goldman and the Browns and everyone else can get it."

She also told the newspaper at the time that she would share information about the financial deal with the families.

Simpson, for his part, laughed off the controversy in a November interview with a Florida radio station.

"Would everybody stop being so naive? Of course I got paid," Simpson told WTPS-AM. "I spend the money on my bills. It's gone."

Regan: A Lightning Rod for Controversy

Some media critics who spoke to ABC News said they believed that Regan's ouster was rooted at least in part in her notoriously stormy relationship with HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman, who refrained from industry-standard breakup bromides in a terse dismissal statement released late Friday night.

"Judith Regan's employment with HarperCollins has been terminated effective immediately," Friedman's statement said. "The REGAN publishing program and staff will continue as part of the HarperCollins General Books Group."

For years, Regan has enjoyed an often-coveted knack for spinning scandal into gold.

Most recently she has come under criticism for a forthcoming tome that "re-imagines" baseball great Mickey Mantle's story in a less than flattering light.

The Mantle book was allegedly the subject of the final straw phone call Friday.

Regan's future is uncertain. A spokeswoman did not return an e-mail Sunday seeking comment.

HarperCollins "will continue operations under the able leadership of Editorial Director Cal Morgan, reporting to Michael Morrison, president and group publisher of Harper/Morrow," the statement from the publishing company said.

Simpson Got Paid -- That's Not Hypothetical

The Simpson book was recalled and destroyed, though Simpson was paid for his "story."

Last month, a HarperCollins news release for the book quoted Simpson as saying, "I'm going to tell you a story you've never heard before, because no one knows this story the way I know it."

"It takes place on the night of June 12, 1994, and it concerns the murder of my ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her young friend, Ronald Goldman," Simpson said in the release. "I want you to forget everything you think you know about that night, because I know the facts better than anyone."

The release goes on to say that the book will provide "for the first time ever, a bone-chilling account of the night of the murders, in which Simpson pictures himself at the center of the action."

"This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession," Regan told The Associated Press before the book's publication was canceled by News Corp., and a rare public apology was issued to the Brown and Goldman families by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

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