On Tuesday, a Manhattan district court judge ordered fiction writer Laura Albert to pay a total of $350,000 in legal fees and other costs to Antidote International Films. Albert, who gained notoriety for publishing and posing as her alter-ego, JT Leroy, had used the fictitious name to sign a film contract and tax forms with Antidote prior to the disclosure of her true identity in 2005. Last month, she was convicted of fraud and ordered to pay $116,000 in damages.
Following the trial, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, president of Antidote, filed for Albert’s company, Underdogs Inc., to cover the cost of his legal fees, totaling one million dollars. Though his initial investment in the film rights to JT Leroy’s Sarah (Bloomsbury, 2000) was $100,000, Levy-Hinte asserted that his legal spending was justified, as he felt an ethical responsibility to hold Albert accountable for what he refers to in court papers as "one of the biggest literary hoaxes of all time."