A wickedly savage fictional rendition of Judith Regan – the savagely wicked doyenne of the Harper-Collins imprint ReganBooks – is making the rounds in Hollywood and among gleeful ex-employees of the 52-year-old publishing terror. Rest assured that she won’t be publishing former ReganBooks editor Bridie Clark’s novel, “Because She Can,” which could alternatively be titled “The Devil Wears Pantsuits,” though I doubt anyone will take me up on this suggestion. Instead, Warner Books has scheduled February for the release of Clark’s novel, which focuses on Vivian Grant, a wildly abusive, foulmouthed, pantsuit-wearing publisher who favors down-market best sellers about strippers and pimps, boasts about her sexual escapades to overworked staffers, and carries on an extramarital affair with a New York City public official who – presumably unlike Regan’s onetime paramour, former Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik – likes to be photographed wearing lipstick and lingerie. The novel, a copy of which was provided to me by a Hollywood development exec, also contains a couple of lovely shout-outs to this column, which has toiled diligently over the past couple of years to report on Regan’s excellent adventures. In one passage, the protagonist, Claire Truman, receives an E-mail from a friend: “READ TODAY’S LLOYD GROVE … Then run for cover … I am scared for you.
” Clark – who, like the long-suffering Ms. Truman, worked for ReganBooks as an editor for about a year – could not be reached for comment yesterday. A ReganBooks publicist told me his boss also was unreachable. QUICK & DIRTY WHAT BREAK-UP? Brit heartthrob Hugh Grant and heiress Jemima Khan (right) looked very much together – never mind rumors to the contrary – when Lowdown spotted them at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square Sunday night. The bespectacled, disheveled Grant was trailed closely by Khan, wearing skintight black jeans, and he gallantly handed their tickets to the attendant for a 9:50 p.
m. showing. Grant lovingly grazed his lady love’s posterior to usher her through. They briefly checked out the concessions but decided against any. Khan, the ex-wife of Pakistan cricket star Imran Khan, and Grant have been dating for two years. Oh, the movie they’d come to see? “The Break-Up.
” STEWART ON NET ASSETS That was Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart cutting up while emceeing yesterday’s Peabody Awards for broadcasting excellence at the Waldorf-Astoria. “This afternoon’s program is sponsored by your Internet and phone records,” Stewart told the star-studded crowd. “Isn’t that interesting – your Internet and phone records, because ‘blah blah blah, 9-11.
‘” In case anyone missed his point, Stewart also quipped: “Thomas Jefferson once said: ‘Of course the people don’t want war. But the people can be brought to the bidding of their leader. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for somehow a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
‘ I think that was Jefferson. Oh wait. That was Hermann Goering. Shoot.
” LINDSAY’S THE LIFE OF THE ‘PRAIRIE’ Lowdown Pop Quiz: Who’s the star of “A Prairie Home Companion”? A) Meryl Streep? B) Kevin Kline? C) Lily Tomlin or D) the inspiration and author of the movie, Garrison Keillor? Judging by the red-carpet madness at Sunday’s premiere, the answer is Lindsay Lohan (above). The 19-year-old starlet arrived with theatrical flair and a motorcade of SUVs in front of the DGA Theater, waiting till her co-stars, as well as Brian Williams, Lauren Bacall and Phoebe Cates, had already run the gauntlet. Lohan’s flack, Leslie Sloane Zelnick, was on hand to greet the teen queen, shoving a shopping bag containing party shoes through the window of the lead gas-guzzler. In due course, out stepped Lohan’s stylist, Rachel Zoe, then Lohan herself, then two well-coiffed young men (one of them carrying Lohan’s shiny purse). Out of the second SUV emerged Lohan’s grandmother Marilyn, her mom, Dina, and her younger siblings Michael, Aliana and Dakota. As Lohan did television interviews, the ever-helpful Zelnick knelt to hold the train of her gold Donna Karan couture gown, until passing off the task to the stylist. Lohan’s co-stars couldn’t say enough good about her. “Very professional, very sweet,” Tomlin said. “An old pro,” Keillor insisted. Lohan, meanwhile, gushed over Streep: “She’s amazing. God bless her.
” SNARK ATTACK! A flustered Los Angeles driver tells Star magazine that he was in the right lane searching for a parking spot along La Cienega Blvd. when a car started to honk furiously behind him. The angry driver pulled up alongside him, and, “The next thing I know, Meg Ryan is telling me move it or else,” says the L.
A. driver. “She’s swearing at me, ‘Get the f- out of my way!
‘ I was freaked!
” Sounds like maybe someone needs to take an anger-management course.
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