‘JT LeRoy’ hoaxer in court

The case of the JT LeRoy literary hoax — perpetrated by San Francisco couple Laura Albert and Geoffrey Knoop, with Knoop’s half-sister Savannah playing the part of the supposedly HIV-positive transgendered writer-victim — has wound up where you always knew it would: in court, with some pissed-off company suing the bejeezus out of the hapless Albert.

A film company that paid a large sum for the film rights to the novel “Sarah” is saying that since JT LeRoy, as a fictional person, could not sign a contract, they want their money back. Albert’s lawyer gave an entertaining, psychologically complicated explanation of her motivation.

He said she was physically and sexually abused as a child. He said she was institutionalized in psychiatric wards and in a group home as a ward of the state. He said she was in therapy for 13 years with a psychiatrist whom she spoke to by telephone while posing as a teenage boy named Jeremy, an embryonic version of JT Leroy.

By the time the psychiatrist advised her to write, the persona of the teenage boy had become engrained as Ms. Albert’s alter ego, what Mr. Weinstein called her “bridge to the world.” Ms. Albert herself, in conversations before the trial, called JT “her respirator,” an unreal, though entirely necessary, entity that allowed her to breathe.

What that has to do with the legal issue is unclear.

In case you want to read the whole sordid affair:

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