Woman behind it-boy writer now scorned by former pals

Laura Albert (l.) with Savannah Knoop, who appeared as JT LeRoy in public events, at a Los Angeles event in 2007.

Courtesy GalleyCat, here’s this week’s LA Weekly cover story: all about Laura Albert, the fortyish straight woman who, from her San Francisco apartment, became a famous cult author by pretending to be a teenaged, gender-bending former truck stop prostitute-turned-brilliant fiction writer named J.T. LeRoy. Among the revelations in the story:

  • She now lives in a “Nob Hill flat,” which suggests she isn’t hurting for money despite the $350,000 judgment against her last year by the film company that cancelled making a movie of one of the LeRoy books.
  • She didn’t enjoy her public role in the LeRoy hoax — that of “Speedie,” a member of LeRoy’s entourage, whom she said was treated like a “bicycle messenger” (maybe because that’s how she dressed) .

  • Film director Gus Van Sant, who was so charmed by the voice of “JT” on the phone (played by former phone sex talker Albert) that he considered the phantom writer a best friend, found Albert in person “kind of demonic and odd” when he met her.
  • JT’s former agent, who fired his erstwhile client upon learning of the hoax, said he never would have flogged the work if he’d known it was by Albert, of whom he now says, “I find her unpleasant.”

Lots more kicking her when she’s down, in the long-ass Weekly story.

J.T. LeRoy story jumps the shark
Laura Albert on the stand
LeRoy hoaxer in court
‘Other writers latched onto JT LeRoy as career move’

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