James Frey Lawsuit Settled: Judge Orders 1,729 Refunds

by Staff

On Friday, a federal court judge in New York City approved a settlement in the lawsuit brought against Random House by 1,729 readers who bought James Frey's controversial memoir A Million Little Pieces (Nan A. Talese, 2003). Those readers, all of whom bought the book before January 26, 2006, the day the author and his publisher acknowledged that parts of the book are fictional, will receive a refund. The settlement will cost Random House $27,348 in refunds as well as over $1 million in legal expenses. The settlement also calls for the publisher to donate a total of $180,000 to the American Red Cross, the Hazeldon addiction treatment center, and First Book.

Attorney Larry D. Drury pointed out that 93,738 copies of A Million Little Pieces were sold in the seven months after the controversy started. He also revealed that Frey had been paid $4.4 million in royalties.

In September, HarperCollins announced that it had acquired Frey's third book, a novel titled Bright Shiny Morning, and plans to publish it next summer.