Maybe there is such a thing as bad publicity.
Literary fraudster Laura Albert, better known by her nom de plume, JT LeRoy, is suing Bloomsbury Publishing in Manhattan Federal Court.
Albert—who came to notoriety in 2005, when it came to light that she was actually the writer LeRoy, a supposed gay teen prostitute and drug addict—is asking for for $131,573.60 in damages, claiming that the book publishing house both used royalties she was due to settle a lawsuit, and blew a golden opportunity to promote her work following a 2007 fraud trial. She says that the publisher’s so-called blunder helped relinquish her novels to the remainder bin.
Albert, 45, who wrote the novel Sarah and a short story collection for Bloomsbury as LeRoy, fooled the publishing world with her fake persona. The hoax was revealed in a New York Magazine piece in 2005; a lawsuit filed by Antidote International Film, which bought the screen rights to Sarah, soon followed.
As part of that lawsuit, Bloomsbury was also sued by the film company for continuing to promote LeRoy as a truck-stop hustler and rising literary star. It was ordered to pay $116,500.
Albert claims that the publishing house used royalty payments to settle the case without the author’s consent, a violation of the terms of her contract.
Lawyers for Bloomsbury and Albert did not immediately return calls for comment.