Entertainment Law

Trial Looks at Genesis of JT Leroy

A federal trial in Manhattan offers insights into the creation of the literary persona known as JT Leroy.

A film production company is seeking to void a contract with a company owned by author Laura Albert, a Brooklyn Heights novelist who penned a book supposedly written by Leroy, the New York Times reports.

The book, called Sarah, was written as Leroy’s autobiography in which he described a tough life in Appalachia as the son of a truck-stop prostitute. After turning tricks himself, the story goes, the young man finally wrote his story.

Antidote International Films Inc. paid Albert’s company $45,000 over three years for rights to the book, the Times reports. The company’s lawyer, Gregory Curtner, told jurors his client was attracted to the story because of its autobiographical nature.

The lawyer for Albert, Eric Weinstein, described her as a complicated person who spent time in psychiatric wards and posed as a teenage boy in phone therapy sessions with a psychiatrist. Leroy was the alter ego of Albert, who herself suffered sexual abuse, he said.

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