A lawsuit was filed today by Fred Goldman aiming to depose News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch for his role in the aborted O.J. Simpson book "If I Did It" as allegations surfaced that Judith Regan, the book's publisher who was fired Friday, said there was a "Jewish cabal" conspiring against her.
Goldman's lawyers filed a federal civil lawsuit this morning claiming that Simpson funneled profits from a deal for a TV interview and the aborted book about the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, Goldman's son, through a shell corporation to avoid paying a multi-million dollar civil judgment.
News of the lawsuit comes amid the outbreak of caustic corporate warfare between Regan and Murdoch, her former boss.
Regan's lawyer vowed today to sue News Corp. for wrongful termination after the company released notes taken by a HarperCollins employee claiming Regan accused him in a phone call Friday of being part of a "Jewish cabal ... conspiring against me."
Andrew Butcher, News Corp. spokesman, confirmed the content of the notes to ABC News Law & Justice Unit today.
Separately, a News Corp. source told ABC News on Sunday that executives there had been looking for a reason to fire the firebrand publisher in the wake of the Simpson book debacle and got one Friday with the phone call.
Bert Fields, Regan's attorney, denied today that his client had used the words "Jewish cabal."
"They're playing the religious card and trying to smear her with an anti-Semitic label," Fields told ABC News. "They know it's damaging. That's why they're doing it."
He said Regan used the word "cabal" but that she never attached "Jewish" to it.
Depositions taken in the Goldman case will "undoubtedly" include Murdoch, Regan and executives from HarperCollins who were part of the decision-making process surrounding the promotion and eventual cancellation of the book, "If I Did It," and a two-part television interview, Jonathan Polak, Goldman's attorney, said.
"My view is that Murdoch's admission that he personally participated in the decision [to fire Regan], as well as our perception that he personally participated in the decision to go forward with the book and interview, guarantees that he's going to have to spend a day with me, at least, talking about what he knows," Polak told ABC News.
Civil law experts say that in order to depose Murdoch, lawyers for the Goldmans would need to show that Murdoch was personally involved in the decision-making process surrounding the planned publication of the book.
Experts also say that it's extremely difficult to garnish wages or other money that has already been paid to a debtor in a civil suit.
Only Simpson is named in legal papers filed today in Los Angeles, but Polak said the legal complaint will be amended to include News Corp., the company's executives and entities after more information is gathered in the course of the Simpson suit.
"This will not stop at [the alleged shell corporation]," Polak said. "It is clear to us that the highest levels of News Corporation were involved in this deal. We have some tough questions for those people."