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People Top 5
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- February 19, 1996
- Vol. 45
- No. 7
Joan Collins and Random House Are Throwing the Books at Each Other
Technically, the tempest over The Ruling Passion and the second novel Collins submitted, Hell Hath No Fury, concerns whether she fulfilled her contract to deliver "complete manuscripts." Joni Evans, Collins's former editor at Random House, described the drafts she received as "over the top, dated [and] melodramatic"—yet somehow different from Collins's previous work. Such criticism is irrelevant, says Collins's lawyer, who claims that, according to the contract, "complete" means, essentially, finished. Random House, he says, must pay up as long as the manuscripts are "in the English language" and don't "defame anybody." Collins is countersuing for the $2.7 million balance on what was a $4 million deal.
Whatever happens next, the tiff has provided good theater during a slow season on Broadway. On Feb. 6, Collins showed up in court in a sleek black Donna Karan suit and black leather boots, exuding an air of total confidence recalling her Dynasty character, Alexis Carrington Colby. Editor Evans, she told PEOPLE, "pursued me like a lover" when signing her to the deal—then neglected her in favor of fellow celeb author Michael Caine. "They didn't even edit my books," Collins says angrily. "I don't think they even read them." Random House, apparently, only wishes it hadn't.
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