Friday, June 15, 2007

JT Leroy: Hoax

About a decade ago ago a woman named Laura Albert began writing stories and articles under the name "Terminator." This byline appeared regularly in the New York Press and other alternative papers. Under that name, this person told first-person stories of being a teen-age boy and truck-stop gay hooker, of having a crazy mother who was also a prostitute. The whole tale bore a gothic tinge that could only be made-up. Anyone who's ever been around truly damaged people for more than a few minutes knows that there's only so much abuse a human mind can take before it's rendered completely inarticulate. Terminator was nothing if not articulate.

So Terminator evolved into JT Leroy as the personality behind the name grew up. JT Leroy published novels, befriended fancy Hollywood people, and appeared, rarely, in public wearing an odd wig and sunglasses. Many of us suspected that JT Leroy was a hoax.

Apparently some movie producers didn't get the memo. They optioned the rights to Laura Albert's novel Sarah, which she wrote under the name JT Leroy. Keep in mind that it was a novel. Now they are suing her for misrepresenting her back story. Poor poor movie producers.

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