Judith Regan sued by her lawyers in News Corp suit

NEW YORK Mon Mar 3, 2008 6:56pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers who represented book publisher Judith Regan in a $100 million lawsuit against News Corp sued her on Monday, saying she did not reimburse them for fees and cut them out of her settlement payment.

The lawyers represented Regan in a lawsuit related to her dismissal in 2006 from News Corp and its HarperCollins Publishers. Regan was fired after her plans to publish a controversial book by O.J. Simpson were scrapped.

Regan had accused her employers of defamation and breach of contract. The lawsuit was settled confidentially out of court in January with neither party admitting any liability.

Now, Dreier LLP and Redniss and Associates LLC are accusing Regan of not paying $42,560 in fees.

Regan was not available for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in New York State Court, also accuses Regan of breaking the terms of their agreement, which the lawyers say promised them 25 percent of any gross recovery "through judgment or out-of-court settlement" of the lawsuit.

The law firms are also suing Bertram Fields, the lawyer Regan hired to settle the lawsuit.

Fields, who described Regan as a longtime friend, said he never saw Regan's agreement with her former lawyers. He said he had not seen the lawsuit, but added that they had no reason to sue him.

Regan sparked an uproar with plans to publish a book by Simpson in which he gave a hypothetical account of killing his ex-wife and her friend. Public criticism of the planned book led News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch to pull the plug on it.

News Corp fired Regan a month later.

In firing her, the media company also claimed Regan made anti-Semitic comments to a HarperCollins lawyer who is Jewish. The company quoted her as having complained that she was the victim of a "Jewish cabal" after the book deal was terminated.

(Reporting by Edith Honan, Editing by Toni Reinhold)

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