Jury Finds Laura Albert Guilty of Fraud, Breach of Contract

6.25.07

On Friday, a jury in Manhattan Federal District Court found Laura Albert guilty of fraud and breach of contract for her pseudonymous invention of JT Leroy, the character whose name she used to sign an option contract for the film rights to Sarah (Bloomsbury, 2000). The jury ordered Albert to pay $116,500 to Antidote International Films, Inc., the production company that planned to make a feature film of her novel before the story broke about JT Leroy's true identity in 2005.

The judgment against Albert covers the option contract and damages to Antidote, but not legal feels, which, when determined, could cost Albert hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

A report in the New York TImes on Friday described Albert as wearing a pendant with a legend that read "Write Hard, Die Free" at the hearing where the judgment was read.