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JT LeRoy Stars in the Pomo Trial of the Century

JT LeRoy and Laura Albert

JT LeRoy and Laura Albert in September 2003. Photo: Getty Images

As blockbuster cases go, this is going to be like an NPR version of the Lorena Bobbitt trial: a dozen buzzwords united in one court-gasm. Antidote International Films, the company that optioned JT LeRoy’s novel Sarah in 2003 (before, ahem, a magazine outed novelist Laura Albert as the real JT) is suing Albert. Their logic is simple: The deal is null because the person they cut it with doesn’t exist. The other side is boldly countering that JT has become an organic part of “disturbed” Laura Albert’s personality; and the plaintiff seems prepared to respond by rolling out every media clip where someone else is impersonating JT LeRoy (they started with a Fresh Air interview). To add a touch of meta-meta to the proceedings, there’s a documentarian hanging around the trial who’s pondering a movie of the case itself.

Liberal-arts grads of the world, this trial has it all! Fake novelists, indie moviemakers, Terry Gross, deep issues, pitiful stakes (that Sarah option deal? $15,000 a year)! Speaking of grosses, perhaps Antidote wants out of the deal not because JT LeRoy is a ghost, but because he’s box-office poison. The total U.S. take for The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, the only previous JT-based movie, stands at $26,092.

Going to Court Over Fiction by a Fictitious Writer [NY Times]
Related: Who is the Real JT LeRoy? [NYM]

JT LeRoy Stars in the Pomo Trial of the Century