I do see your point, and it seems ridiculous to award the publishers all that money after they've already made plenty on the whole deal, but I think signing a contract with someone else's (or a nonexistent person's) name pretty clearly constitutes fraud.
Peckerneck Poet Walt Curtis said when you fuck with the bull, you get the horn.
the publishers? the publishers haven't been awarded anything--unless i read the story wrong.
The problem is that she signed a legal document with a signature of a name that is not a legal entity.
Further, the production company sued only to recoup losses, and not damages. The amount seems fair to me, and her bluster about this being a nom de plume issue is ridiculous. It's one thing not to release a name to the public, or to write behind a pseudonym (like, say, I like cheese), but if you want to do that to people you're in business with, you should have a lawyer or agent signing on your behalf.
Oh, sorry, misread . . . anyway, my first point still stands, although I do see your point.
She also duped a lot of people in the Appalachian literary community. Just what West Virginia needs... some fucking New Yorker leeching attention and support from struggling writers in Appalachia.
It's pretty cold that she lost all her money, but I have difficulty feeling sorry for her. George Eliot isn't really an apt analogy... a woman in that time period would only get taken seriously as a man. What Laura Albert has done is gain undeserved notoriety as a member of a culturally marginalized group-- recognition that actual Appalachian authors have trouble achieving in a urban-centric publishing environment. I'd have a lot more sympathy if she was a West Virginian pretending to be from New York so she could get published.
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, who instigated the suit on behalf of Antidote International Films, said he would not seek to make a movie out of “Sarah” as he had wished, calling the project “too sullied and emotionally charged,”
and then went on to say that if Ms. Albert, who never made a fortune from her literary works, could not afford to pay the judgment, he might have to consider laying claim to the rights to her past and future books.
so, he is willing to make money off her and her stories, apparently. because of that, his suit seems dubious.
@6, I'm with you.
hey, did you all know that the movie fargo isn't really a true story???!!!?!?!
No matter the technicalities, I gotta agree, Chris. Laura Albert may be a douche for lying about her identity and background, but that doesn't change the quality of her work of fiction.
If people were into it only because of the context behind the alleged writer, then it's an indictment of the publishers and movie people for thinking too much of the external context of a blah work of fiction instead of judging the work on its own.
Let's drop the other shoe:
This is completely insane. I hope she appeals and wins. The only way that it might make sense is if Antidote International optioned J.T. Leroy's biography and not "his" novel.
This quote at the end, in reference to an author losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a film company is miraculously deluded: "Mr. Levy-Hinte, Antidote’s president, said in an interview yesterday that the lawsuit was less about getting his money back than about sticking up for fair dealing and telling the truth ... `She’s liberated, in a way. It’s quite wonderful.'"
Big deal. A couple of celebrities fell for a scam that robbed them of some free string-pulling and got their shoulders wet with crocodile tears.
Do I think Laura Albert deserves congratulations? No. She perpetrated a lie that's a reality to some people out there. But does that make her fiction less valuable (if it was before)? Are the only people entitled to write about desperate abuse those who have experienced it? Personally, I think she's kind of screwy herself (to put it kindly) to go to all this trouble to perpetrate her alter ego.
She put a fake name on a contract; who exactly cares? Write her a new one.
Does that studio actually think people would boycott their movie because the fictional character in the story was written by a fictional writer? If anything, they've got a shitstorm of free publicity. Call it "The Real Sarah" instead of just "Sarah," film it cinema verite, include a cameo by an androgynous guy in a wig, and you've got a blockbuster hit. [Mailing consultation invoice to Antidote International.]
I always thought this was the best thing to happen to post modern literature in a long time.It's like Cindy Sherman dry humping Oprah.
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