AdWeek is reported that Laura Albert (pictured, left) is suing Bloomsbury Publishing for over 100,000 dollars in damages. Albert is the actual writer behind the JT LeRoy scandal.
Here's a brief run-down of the scandal: Albert, pretending to be a drug-addicted, teenage male prostitute, found friends in literary circles by phone and e-mail. She then got published under her chosen pseudonym, and after a successful book, Savannah Knoop (pictured, right), the half-sister of Albert's lover, posed as JT LeRoy in public. Savannah then partied with a bunch of celebs, all apparently none the wiser of the deception. A production company bought the film rights to the successful novel, and when the lie was exposed (mostly through Knoop's bad acting), the movie house sued Albert, as she had signed the contract with LeRoy's name - a legal no-no. You sign contracts with your name, not your pseudonym.
Albert is now suing Bloomsbury because she believes they used royalties owed to her to pay off their part of the settlement (a direct violation of her contract, she claims) and that they should have been promoting her book after the scandal broke.
No, sorry, Ms Albert. Bloomsbury is a legit publisher - I don't know what happened over there that they allowed this charade to go on, but after it became public knowledge that LeRoy was a fraud and basically, just a pseudonym for Albert, it only makes sense for them to distance themselves from the book they published. They didn't pull it off the shelves, but they at least didn't promote it.
Also, what is with all these fake writers? I mean, seriously, I know book publishing sucks in a major way these days. It's really hard to get published, and publishers also glut the market with lots of crap books. But Albert is basically a pathological liar here. She lied to people, posed as a teenage boy prostitute, and then wrote a book as him, and got essentially a relative of hers to go along with the scheme and pose in public as the author?
I can understand writing under a pseudonym. But I can't understand lying about the actual existence of a human being that isn't real. That's not art, people. It's just plain crazy.