Wednesday, October 23, 2019

As Cosby trial, publisher Judith Regan’s credibility questioned


Did she ever tell you that America’s dad was on top of her in her room?” Tom Mesereau asked Judith Regan, former publisher of Regan Books who published Janice Dickinson’s book No Lifeguard on Duty.

“I don’t recall.” Judith Regan replied.

“Are you aware that America’s Dad didn’t appear on television until 1984?” Mesereau asked. “I’m not aware of that.” Judith replied.

The publisher of Janice Dickinson’s 2002 memoir testified Wednesday that she convinced the supermodel not to include her alleged rape by Bill Cosby because of fears they would be sued.

Dickinson testified that “America’s Dad” drugged and rape her in a hotel room at Lake Tahoe in 1982, but testified that the publisher would not allow her to write that in her memoir.

Instead, publisher Judith Regan said, the book “No Lifeguard on Duty” offered a sanitized account of Dickinson’s 1982 encounter with Cosby, citing no sexual activity.

“But she told you this event took place in 1982, correct?” Mesereau asked. “I don’t recall.” Judith replied. “You don’t recall the year?” Mesereau replied. “No.” Judith said.

“Now, you published the book If I Did It by O.J. Simpson, correct?” Mesereau asked. “Yes,” Judith said, quickly followed by a loud “NO!”

“Did you help O.J. Simpson hide money from the publication of that book?” Mesereau asked. The question wasn’t answered due to a sustained objection.

“You worked at the National Enquirer? … You also published Jenna Jameson’s book, ‘How to Make Love Like a Porn Star?’” Mesereau asked, rattling off a list of questions all of which were quickly squashed after objections by prosecutors.

“A false story was created, correct?” Mesereau asked. “She, I,” Judith continued. She was working with a collaborator. A ghostwriter. They worked together to decide what to put in the book.”

“So you’re saying they put a false story of what happened in Lake Tahoe?” Mesereau asked. “I don’t know.” Judith replied.

“You said as a publisher, you had the duty to publish the true story, correct?” Mesereau asked. “Yes.” Judith replied.

“Did you publish the true story?” Mesereau asked. “I published the story that Janice Dickinson wrote [with her] collaborator.” Judith said.

“But you allow her to publish something you say is not true?” Mesereau asked. “That is something for Janice Dickinson to answer.” Judith replied. “Have you read the book that you published?” Mesereau asked. “Not for many years.” Judith replied.

“Did you conclude that everything was correct?” Mesereau asked. “I don’t recall.” Judith told him. “She wanted a story about Bill Cosby raping her, correct?” Mesereau asked. “Yes.” Judith replied.

“The legal department said you can’t publish it without corroborating evidence and there was none, correct?” Mesereau asked. “I said that at some point, whether it was a conversation I had with legal I don’t recall if it was a conversation or a note. They objected to including a story like this.” Judith said. “Without corroboration, correct?” Mesereau asked. “Without a witness.” Judith replied.

“Is everything in the book No Lifeguard on Duty truthful?” Mesereau asked. “When I publish a person’s memoir and I published several over the years, it is their duty to provide a manual script that is to their knowledge truthful. In the case of Janice Dickinson, she wanted to include the story of Bill Cosby raping and drugging her, which is how she described it to me, because of our vetting process this is not uncommon, [but] we told her she could not include this particular story.” Judith said.

“So she had to change the truth facts to something that is not correct? Is that what you’re saying?” Mesereau asked. “That was something worked out between Janice and her ghostwriter.” Judith said.

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