Monday, December 13, 2004

Judith and Bernie: A Love Story

"(Judith Regan's) capacity for picking winning books is equaled only by her capacity for picking the wrong men."

"... (Regan) has been known to shout 'I have the biggest cock in the building!' at a meeting when she felt her colleagues were wimping out on an editorial decision ..."

" (Regan) knew how to be charming, but often in the most highly sexual way. She seemed to raise the level of every confrontation�men were always exposing themselves, or she was being stopped and abused by police. (In 1980 she won a lawsuit in Utah after making an illegal left turn and being strip-searched. In 1990 she was arrested in New York City�and was eventually issued a desk warrant for disorderly conduct, obstruction of government administration, and resisting arrest�after she allegedly leapt to the defense of a cabdriver she felt the police were bullying. She threatened to sue, but dropped the case.)"

"'She'd like to get a man who's strong enough to be a guy, with all that implies, and take care of business,' says a former beau."

From: The Devil and Miss Regan, by Judith Newman, Vanity Fair

This morning, as we took our shower and inhaled our Kenyan Blend java and listened to the news, we were shocked -- shocked! -- as we heard unfold the Bernie Kerik-Judith Regan affair. Who knew? We just thought that they just liked to go to the Sports Club in Rockefeller Center together ... a lot. Really, really a lot.

What's wrong with two middle aged seasoned fitness enthusiasts who enjoyed a little "one-on-one" attention "spotting" one another. But, they had an entirely different definition for "Total Body Fitness," it appears; and, we will not even entertain what precisely their "Power Dance Class" entailed ...

It all seemed so innocent, but, Russ Buettner of the Daily News writes of the tryst:

"(Kerik's) affair with Regan, the stunningly attractive head of her own book publishing company, lasted for almost a year.

"Dramatically, each (of Kerik's two mistresses, city Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero and Regan) learned of the existence of the other after Pinero discovered a love note left by Regan in the apartment."

Juicy! But, for Regan there's more:

"The two worked out together most mornings at the (Sports Club)... in Rockefeller Center and often dined at Fresco restaurant in midtown, according to sources.

"Kerik visited Regan's Central Park West apartment almost daily, and occasionally stayed the night, with his police detail camped outside."

But this should be of no surprise to those of us who read Michael Wolff's sexually charged New York Magazine profile of Judith Regan, which began:

"I have never heard anyone talk about sex the way Judy does. I have never heard anyone talk about their sexual partners the way Judy does. I have near heard anyone analyze individual motivations, the workings of the marketplace, and politics, too, in such precisely sexual terms. The other day, on her show, she kept interrupting her tempered guests on the subject of why women like Bill Clinton, and, voice rising, saying: 'They want to have sex with him -- that's why they like him!'

"... I cannot explain it, but I have seen it: Men get crazy over Judith. Mesmerized. Radically lobotomized."

Bernie never stood a chance. Even Vanity Fair said of Regan's looks, as she rose in the publishing game, "... youthful cuteness had given way to beauty, and with her heart-shaped face, natural pout, and enormous dark eyes, she was a heartbreaker."

Does Michael Wolff, BTW, have a fucking media crystal ball or what?! In the piece, he compares Regan ("Twenty-five years ago, at Vassar, where we met, she was a pretty, plumpish hippie girl, with a soft-focus interest in music, painting, creative writing") to Monica Lewinsky, a comparison waay ahead of its time. Regan told Howard Stern at the time that she had offered Lewinsky $2 million for her memoirs, but Lewisnky eventually turned her down. Wolff is positively psychic in connecting the two -- earth mother types both, years in advance, ultimately, sexually tainted two major political players.

"... At Simon & Schuster, she complained, she was exposed to sexual harassment that, as she described it, seemed more like all-out sexual war. I am not the only one she told about a colleague in the company whose harassment of her left a semen stain that she preserved. (As an Esquire editor wrote in a 'Women We Love' profile of her, 'By the end of lunch, I knew all about her divorce, her kids, her custody battle, and an executive she hates who jerks off in his office with the door open.')

Oh, this revelation throws light on many mistunderstandings we had of the recent Observer piece on Kerik, which said, among other things:

"But in general, Mr. Kerik isnt known for shying away from a challenge. Several years ago, Mr. Kerik -- his barrel chest squeezed into a tank top -- was lying on a bench in the second-floor weight room at the L.A. Sports Club in Rockefeller Center. He had just finished doing a dozen reps of 220 pounds when he barked at his publisher, Judith Regan, who was standing over him and spotting him during his workout: 'Give me more!' Ms. Regan, whos not known for her subservience, questioned him, and Mr. Kerik, with a few grunts, repeated his command: 'Just give me more!' She complied and he finished his workout, wiping off his sweat with a towel."

Oh, Judy, if you only gave him less, that "barrel chest squeezed into a tank top" notwithstanding (Averted Gaze) ... Now, back to New York Magazine. Regan inserted -- sorry -- herself into the MonicaGate story, a tale of affairs and the stain -- sorry -- on high "pubic", The Corsair means here "public" office -- to which Wolff wrote:

"One day recently, sitting in the remote camera booth at 30 Rockefeller Center waiting to be joined via monitor with my fellow panelists in the MSNBC studios in Secaucus on the issue of Monica Lewinsky, I watched my old college classmate Judith Regan suddenly pop into view ... (she) was poised (an in-your-face, carriage-is-everything poise), smiling, and looking much younger than 45 (which, if I am, she is).

"The book she was promoting was a relative trifle for her, a parody of Monica's Story called Monica's Untold Story, written by 'Anonymous.' But it seemed to have engaged her hotly (as, in fact, everything she does engages her); she had lost out on publishing the actual Monica book -- Regan says she withdrew her offer based on the proposed content of the book -- and was now directing the energy she might have brought to the project at Monica's morality ('This cautionary fable,' Regan says, in promotion materials for the book, 'is a parody of the nightmarish materialism that . . . threatens to destroy America, as we pursue money, sex, and power at the expense of family life, duty, and goodness'). Indeed, it seems reasonably likely that Anonymous is Judith Regan herself."

And, indeed, it seems like her own cautionary tale was not heeded, alas. The Corsair's favorite Judy Regan story comes from the Judith Newman VF story:

"When Arsenio Hall lost his talk show in 1994, she campaigned for the slot.

"When [a Fox executive] finally told her she wasn't getting the job, we all heard her screaming in her office. 'You know why? Because he has a small dick, and he's afraid I'm going to eat it. And then I'm gonna eat his testicles. Then I'm going to eat into his body cavity � ' 'It was the most incredible thing I'd heard. But this was my first job out of college. I remember thinking, Huh, maybe this is the way things are in media.'"

Or, maybe not.

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