How Knoop Became JT Leroy

Laura Albert created the character of JT Leroy, and wrote the books that appeared in his name. However, Albert's sister-in-law, Savannah Knoop, played the part of JT whenever he was required to make an appearance in real life. Now Knoop has authored an account of what it was like to play JT. It'll be published in October by Seven Stories Press. From the publisher's website:

In January 2006, The New York Times unmasked Savannah Knoop as the face of the mysterious author JT LeRoy. A media frenzy ensued as JT’s fans, mentors, and readers came to terms with the fact that the gay-male- ex-truck-stop-prostitute-turned-literary-wunderkind was really a girl from San Francisco, whose middle-aged sister-in-law, Laura Albert, wrote the books. Girl Boy Girl is the story of how Savannah led this bizarre double life for six years, trading a precarious existence as a college dropout for a life in which she was embraced by celebrities and artists... and traveled the world.

Laura Albert isn't happy about the forthcoming book. She's quoted by the New York Post as saying, "I am not in any way connected with this book and it disgusts me. Just because you play a writer doesn't mean you are a writer. I think Savannah is being motivated by money and attention. Now that she's had to go back to being a civilian, this is her way of getting back to it. It's sad and it's sleazy. She's really stepping on my feelings."

Gawker comments: "just because you slap the label 'non-fiction' on your otherwise mediocre 'art' to build buzz doesn't mean you have to refrain from calling anyone else a sell-out."

I'm wondering when the movie about the JT Leroy saga will appear. lists it as being in development, but has no info about its release date. (Thanks, Joe)

Previous posts about JT Leroy:
Oct 2005: Is JT LeRoy a Hoax?
Jan 2006: JT LeRoy: An Update
Feb 2006: Knoop Confesses JT Leroy Was a Hoax
Mar 2006: JT Leroy: The Movie
Sep 2006: Writer Behind J.T. LeRoy Comes Clean
Jun 2007: JT LeRoy, phantom author (Updated!)


Posted on Mon Jun 02, 2008


"I think Savannah is being motivated by money and attention."

And, clearly, one person so motivated is enough for one family.
Posted by Terry Austin  on  Mon Jun 02, 2008  at  10:16 AM
"It's sad and it's sleazy. She's really stepping on my feelings."

Whose feelings, Laura's or J.T.'s?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Jun 02, 2008  at  06:53 PM
I think I've heard more about the fake JT Leroy than the actual book Laura wrote under the name.
Posted by sarah  on  Tue Jun 03, 2008  at  01:37 PM
Isn't "in development" Hollywood talk for "haven't started on it yet, and may never?"
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed Jun 04, 2008  at  08:53 AM
Savannah and her sister went to Westover - the Bush school if you wiki them. Born to walk the red capret for work you didn't do. Who wouldn't want the fame back and pronto!
Posted by jane  on  Wed Jun 18, 2008  at  11:00 PM
Update: Last week, this story was on L&O:SVU.
Posted by dr pepper  on  Sat Dec 20, 2008  at  05:05 AM
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