More JT LeRoy-Nancy Rommelmann in L.A. Weekly

Nancy Rommelmann goes further into the never-ending world of JT LeRoyLaura Albert in L.A. Weekly. Rommelmann got an assignment from the L.A. Times to interview LeRoy a few years back and there, the adventure began. Rommelmann writes with great compassion and insight but she’s clear-eyed about Albert’s manipulations, hucksterism and talent.

“In some ways, she’s easy to like,” Rommelman tells FishbowlLA. “She’s spouting these platitudes and you’re thinking, come on, you know this is bull. Then she gets fiesty, and I liked that.”

“She’s also sort of ill-looking,” she adds. “I found myself at one point literally rubbing her hands in mine, because they were purple-gray.”

Rommelman was one of LeRoy’s hundreds of “phone pals.” But once she and the impersonator learned of a Bay Area connection, it led to much more. “It was when I found out about the [Ashbury] Heights connection – you have no idea how many people Laura and I know in common – that’s when I knew, okay, this is my job to do,” Rommelmann recalls. “It was easy not to judge her; harder was to take all this information and let it find its form. It took a long time, like, five effing months.”

“I have a big thing about wanting not to betray those who’ve spoken to me,” she explains. “I’m fairly certain Laura won’t see it this way, but, I did my best to let her tell me the story as she saw it, and then build into that what I found.”

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