Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tua culpa Tuesday: The genuine article

By Joe Uchill
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Mea culpa Monday’s sibling, Tua culpa Tuesday tracks the best accusation of the media that doesn’t result in a correction.

Who is the most not JT LeRoy?

The JT LeRoy saga was a high-brow version of the James Frey scandal. Both unfolded within days of each-other; while most of America mourned having A Million Little Pieces exposed as a fake memoir, the intelligentsia had their wake for their own fraudulent junkie. At his height, JT LeRoy had written two beloved roman a clefs about his 16-year life as an AIDS infected, junkie prostitute abused as a child. He published articles everywhere from Nerve to the New York Times. His very public fans included director Gus Van Sant, author Dennis Cooper and still-famous-for-some-reason Courtney Love. At his height, no one knew the JT LeRoy character was orchestrated by writer Laura Albert and acted out in public by Savannah Knoop.

Knoop has written a book about her experience putting on a wig and giving Jeremy “Terminator” LeRoy a face. The memoir, Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy, doesn’t sit well with the other LeRoy. Albert told the New York Post’s Page Six that the Seven Stories press is printing Knoop’s story to capitalize on her own.

So who is the real fake JT Leroy? It’s probably whoever takes the brunt of the anger for the scam. Albert certainly is doing everything in her power to make everyone angriest at her. Every complaint she makes about Knoop is one someone has made about her.

"I am not in any way connected with this book and it disgusts me. Just because you play a writer doesn't mean you are a writer," Albert, 42, told Page Six. "I think Savannah is being motivated by money and attention. Now that she's had to go back to being a civilian, this is her way of getting back to it. It's sad and it's sleazy. She's really stepping on my feelings."

“I'm not interested in making a career of JT, I'm an artist”


Hey, Laura Albert: Just because you played a writer doesn’t mean you’re still a writer. Knoop has a book coming out this year. How’s that couch treating you?

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