Claims to fame: Publishing magnate, ReganBooks; TV reality-show producer; Vassar scholar; ex-National Enquirer reporter; filthy-rich Republican; divorceé; “other woman”; very scary person
Moral apex: Take your pick — but we like her year-long affair with NYPD Police Commissioner (and disgraced Bush nominee for head of Homeland Security) Bernie Kerik. Like, she didn’t know he was married?
Karmic comeuppance: She left a love note for Kerik in the secret apartment he kept for extramarital trysts — and it was discovered by another other woman.
Translation: Kerik wasn’t only cheating on his wife with Regan; he was cheating on Regan with a second mistress. (Actually, the woman who discovered the note had been shacking up with Kerik for nearly a decade before Regan came along.)
What happened next: The two pissed-off lovers compared notes, and they both dumped Kerik.
Also worth noting: She’s a divorceé — which seems pretty minor, until you get a load of the ugly story and the protracted divorce process: In a nutshell, she married super-rich financier Robert Kleinschmidt — for his money, some say, when she didn’t even like him all that much.
“Regan almost broke up with Kleinschmidt three months before their wedding,” wrote Judith Newman (“The Devil and Miss Regan,” Vanity Fair), “when she discovered his affair with a 15-year-old babysitter. They married in 1987, had their daughter, Lara, in 1991, and separated in 1992 when Regan discovered that — surprise! — he was having another affair. … Three trials, at least six lawyers, and more than a million dollars later they were divorced. Regan held on to everything, with the possible exception of her sanity.”
• She hired a bodyguard to stop Kerik from “hounding” her after she dumped him.
• She likes to hedge her bets, donating a modicum sum to Democratic candidates while the lion’s share of her political contributions go to Republican candidates, Republican PACs, and the Republican National Committee.
• Her younger sister Maureen (not to be confused with Ronnie Raygun offspring Maureen Reagan) once recorded a song called “A Good Man Is Hard to Find; A Hard Man Is Good.”
• Had a son out of wedlock in 1981.
• According to Vanity Fair‘s Newman, “Few employees have lasted more than a year.” And, in 2003, three staffers who quit threatened a sexual-harassment lawsuit against HarperCollins; “an undisclosed sum of money upon signing a confidentiality agreement” took care of that little matter.
Enemies include high-profile females whose names are synonymous with “sex,” and start with the letter M: Madonna, Monica Lewinsky, and Marla Maples.
ReganBooks! Every fucking time we do something prestigious, they overlook us. But God forbid we do a piece of shit…
— When ReganBooks was misidentified as its parent
company, HarperCollins, at a 2004 book-awards banquet
Quoted by Judith Newman, Vanity Fair
— A favorite word for book reviewers
I don’t publish pornography. I publish smart books about sex. A lot of people try to imitate what I do but they don’t do it well.
— Quoted by Edward Wyatt
Sex, Sex, Sex: Up Front in Bookstores Near You
New York Times
August 24, 2004
Memorable quotes, from “various Fox News appearances,” courtesy of Atrios (who notes, “Sadly no transcripts exist of the Fox show [Judith Reagan Tonight] she hosted for awhile”):
REGAN: Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any question. I mean, here’s Hillary who’s been standing by her man all these years and allowing him to behave in this reprehensible fashion.
REGAN: You know, look at Monica Lewinsky talking about being suicidal, being on antidepressants, you know, gaining this huge amount of weight. This is clearly a woman who has suffered and is suffering inside because she has no depth of feeling and no morality whatsoever. And so, I decided, after being involved in this ugly negotiation, which I found morally reprehensible, that we should make fun of the whole thing, and we should make a comment about the amorality of everybody.
REGAN: I would never tell. Unlike Monica Lewinsky, I keep my secrets and take them to the grave.
REGAN: I don’t know. I mean, I think that they’re going to move forward here, and I think it’s alarming to me that the country is not concerned about having an amoral man in the White House.
REGAN: I said, “You know what? There’s a really great morality tale here with a great, great moral lesson,” and nobody’s really said that.
REGAN: Well, partially, but it’s also an “amorality tale” because the one thing that’s missing from “Monica’s Story” is, you know, deep thinking about her own amorality, which we saw — was in ample evidence during the Barbara Walters love fest the other night. I mean, here’s a woman who clearly knows a lot about sex, but knows nothing about right and wrong.
REGAN: You know, the amorality tale, “Monica’s Untold Story,” is about her amorality, and the amorality of all of the people in this ugly story. But one of the things that was remarkable about her two hours is her utter lack of sincere remorse. And in that case, I would say she is a true soulmate of Bill Clinton because the two of them — she learned a lot about spinning. She learned a lot about publicity. You know, she learned a lot about changing her image. And she tried to do another Barbara Walters show, but I don’t know if America’s buying it. I’m sure not.
Ms. REGAN: Well, I think that the social fabric of this country has become completely unraveled. I think the sexual revolution had a lot to do with that. I think that we are in terrible shape. I think we have a country where half the kids are being raised by single mothers. A lot of that has to do with male behavior. We look at the men in this country who do not want to be accountable to their wives, do not want to be accountable to their children and we have as
a president a man who could be a symbol of everything that is good; he could be a wonderful husband, he could be a wonderful father. He is in a position of great authority to show this country and to lead this country in a way that is much more important than economically.
Ms. REGAN: …to this kind of fame, don’t grow up thinking, You know, what I really want to do is to be a good citizen, to be loyal to my friends, to care about my neighbors, to get married, to be faithful to my husband, to have a family.’ These are not the things that we’re teaching.
Ms. REGAN: We can conquer others with force but to conquer ourselves we need strength.’ And this is really what we need in America today. We need to conquer our own impulses. We need to understand that we can’t act on them all the time because it feels good for us. We have to care about the other.
Ms. REGAN: Let me tell you something, my father has never cheated on my mother, my brothers have never treated cheated on their wives. I come from a big Italian Irish Catholic family and I have to say that for the most part, they have not cheated on each other. My brothers were virile…
[Jenna Jameson's book, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale] is about a porn star describing explicit sex acts, and it bulges with her nude photos, but it’s not about porn. It must be a challenge for [Judith] Regan to sell books to people she considers nitwits. Why not subtitle it, “Nudity for Dummies” and reserve the panache for the nonfat, half-decaf latte crowd? …
Porn “stars” don’t “make love,” they exploit sex in any and every perverse manner that sells. In the porn world, “love and marriage” don’t “go together like a horse and carriage,” and dad isn’t “told by mother, ‘you can’t have one without the other.’” Porn “love-making” is about lust-driven self-gratification enhanced by devices that will eventually make it impossible for the person to have a love-giving sexual relationship with a human being because humans aren’t battery-operated. …
— The usual hysterical condemnation by
Concerned Women of America
CWA Web site, August 27, 2004
Hear about the newest thing? The movie about the movie “Deep Throat”? At the recent opening in New York, lotsa luminaries from Hollywood showed up and some from the local area too, like Judith Regan. Who was there as an “expert” of sorts. Dear Judith, former paramour of Bernie “Falling faster than an rock into the sun” Kerik, who has just published a book by Jenna Jameson on being a porn star had this to say:
As a young woman, she said, she was not one of the thousands of sensation-seekers who dutifully lined up at the World Theater, on West 49th Street, where “Deep Throat” was first shown. She added that she learned about Ms. Jameson from her son, who dropped out of his M.I.T. fraternity because Ms. Jameson’s videos were all the fraternity brothers were interested in watching.
So, having mommy allegedly boinking a married guy was within the realm of “family values”, but watching Jenna Jameson at the frat house was too much for gentle Regan the Younger. Learning that mommy published her book will certainly have him in therapy until he’s 60.
So the bottom line here, and I say that with a straight face, is that our Judith never watched porn, she just lives on selling it. Truly a Family Values republican.— Democratic Veteran
February 10, 2005
Suggested Bible reading for Ms. Regan:
How weak is thine heart, saith the LORD GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;
— Ezekiel 16:30