How Judith Regan lost out on Nicole Brown Simpson's untold 'Story'Nicole Brown Simpson in 1993 Saturday, November 17th 2007
As the names O.J. Simpson and Judith Regan collide again in the headlines, we're finally getting the inside story of the other Simpson book publisher Regan wasn't able to get into print.
For almost a year now, Nicole Brown Simpson's sister, Denise Brown, has been condemning "If I Did It," the Regan-edited O.J. memoir that's at the center of the $100 million defamation suit Regan filed this week against her former employer, HarperCollins, and its parent, News Corp.
Most recently, Brown has slammed the family of Ron Goldman for taking "blood money" from the sale of the book, which became a best seller for another publisher after HarperCollins dumped it.
But Brown wasn't always opposed to profiting from the double-murder story.
In 1998, she approached Regan with a pitch for a book based on Nicole's diaries. "Judith loved the idea," an insider tells us. Brown's Literary Group agent, Frank Weimann, secured her a $1 million deal.
Soon, the ReganBooks catalogue was trumpeting the forthcoming publication of "Nicole's Story," told "through Nicole's own voice."
But a little problem emerged: Brown didn't have the rights to the diaries. They belonged to Nicole and O.J.'s children.
Regan decided to push ahead with the book - based on Denise's memories of Nicole - though it wasn't easy finding her a collaborator. "She turned down every writer," recalls another source. "No one was good enough."
Then Regan ran into another problem. "Denise couldn't remember many stories about Nicole," says the source.
"Apparently, they hadn't spent much time together as adults."
"Denise never delivered a publishable manuscript," the source asserts. "She sent HarperCollins a box of garbage - notes and transcripts. Her contract was canceled. She kept the $200,000 advance, which she was supposed to return."
Brown didn't reply to our request for comment. But she has claimed to Larry King that she bailed out of the project because Regan "turned it into a tabloid version. … And I wasn't going to do that. I cannot sell out. I don't care how many millions of dollars people offer me. I cannot sell my sister to the Devil."
A source familiar with the project argues, "No one wanted her to defame her sister. Judith's mission has always been about seeking retribution for abused women."