Laura Albert on the stand

Laura Albert (l.) with Savannah Knoop, who appeared as JT LeRoy in public events, at a Los Angeles event earlier this year.

The fraud trial of San Francisco writer Laura Albert, who hoaxed everybody from famous writers to the New York Times to NPR to HBO in her guise as author JT LeRoy, continues in New York. (Courtesy GalleyCat.) Albert herself took the stand yesterday, and her version of the hoax has now developed into an implicit claim of split personality.

“He was my respirator,” she said. “He was my channel for air. To me, if you take my JT, my Jeremy, my other, I die,” Albert told the jury. She also explained a history of childhood abuse, running away from home as a young teenager, and adopting multiple identities as both a phone sex operator and suicide hotline caller in San Francisco. The latter phase finally provided the explanation of how local psychiatrist Terrence Owens could have “treated,” over the phone for a period of years, a person he knew as JT LeRoy. When Owens said he wanted to meet his “patient,” Albert paid a street punk to appear in the role, and accompanied him as “his friend Speedy.”

Anyway, it’s all very colorful and weird and probably should be a movie in its own right. It would definitely be a better movie than the one already made from “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things,” which popped out like a pimple last year in the wake of revelations of the hoax and disappeared in disgrace.

Trial gets underway
Violet Blue on the LeRoy hoax, and courtesy Violet, Thomas Roche also comments

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