A division of Random House that paid a reported $700,000 advance for an investigative book about Disney CEO Michael Eisner has canceled its contract and demanded half of the money back.
Author Kim Masters, a contributing editor of Time and Vanity Fair, originally inked her deal with Broadway Books before Random House bought the imprint. Coincidentally, Random House last year published Eisner's autobiography, "A Work in Progress." A spokesman denies that Eisner influenced the decision to spike Masters' potentially less flattering work, saying instead that "the author's reporting [is] sadly inadequate," according to the New York Times.
Masters referred questions to her attorney, Bert Fields, who told the Times that Random House acted because it did not want to offend either Eisner or the Disney Co. Fields also represents former Disney wunderkind Jeffrey Katzenberg in his royalties lawsuit against Eisner.