Film Production Company Sues Laura Albert—or Is it JT LeRoy?

by Staff

The production company that optioned the film rights to the novel Sarah (Bloomsbury, 2000) by JT Leroy (aka Laura Albert) has sued Albert and her company, Underdogs, Inc.

Albert, a mother and novelist from Brooklyn, New York, was revealed in late 2005 to be the woman behind imaginary male author JT Leroy, who was purported to be the son of a truck-stop prostitute who eventually turned to prostitution himself, then started writing prose that was eventually published as Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (Bloombsbury 2001). Two years earlier, however, Albert (as JT Leroy) sold the film rights to Sarah to Antidote International Films, Inc.

Under the terms of the contract, Antidote paid Underdogs $15,000 for the film rights, an option that was renewable every two years. Once the story broke about JT Leroy's real identity, Antidote wanted to make a movie about the life of Albert—the real author of Sarah. Albert refused to grant the rights, so Antidote is now suing for its money back. Why? Because the author of the novel it optioned does not exist.

The trial is taking place at Federal District Court in Manhattan.