The firing of U.S. publisher Judith Regan last week was due to comments she made and not her controversial book deal with O.J. Simpson, a report says.

The Los Angeles Times said while Regan was in trouble over her attempts to publish the former football star's "If I Did It" novel, her firing Friday from her HarperCollins subsidiary was due to allegedly offensive comments she made recently.

The report said the publisher allegedly had made a series of offensive remarks to one of the company's attorneys and her dismissal was seen by many as an attempt by HarperCollins to begin anew.

"There was a lot of tension in that corporation, and this was a way to solve it," former publisher Ira Silverberg said. "These companies are like any workplace; when there's a lot of tension, they think of the best way to defuse it for everybody involved."

The Times said inside sources claimed that in fact Regan, who will be replaced by editorial director Cal Morgan, had not been entirely responsible for the controversy surrounding Simpson's novel.