Look at me, I'm a tough SOB
This is funny as hell
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Oprah fave booked
BY PAUL D. COLFORD
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, January 10th, 2006
Best-selling author James Frey is the man who fooled Oprah - and millions of other readers, according to a bombshell report that "A Million Little Pieces" may be filled with a million little lies.
The moving memoir of drugs, crime and rehab that brought talk-show diva Oprah Winfrey to tears on TV - and sold more than 3.5 million copies, thanks largely to her hugely popular Oprah's Book Club - was characterized yesterday as a tall tale of phony redemption.
The Smoking Gun Web site charged that James Frey "wholly fabricated" or "wildly embellished" the grim bad-boy tales that make up his book.
Investigators for the Web site said Frey fibbed wildly about his criminal record - and even faked a role for himself in a train wreck that killed two high school girls.
Frey "thinks he's a bit of a desperado," an investigator told the Web site, which specializes in rooting out hard-to-find legal documents. "He's making a bunch of crap up."
While Frey writes about doing time in prison with the bravado of a wizened ex-con, Smoking Gun said the closest he "has ever come to a jail cell was the few unshackled hours he once spent in a small Ohio police headquarters waiting for a buddy to post $733 cash bond."
Winfrey's office had no immediate comment, and Frey's publisher backed him.
"We stand in support of our author, James Frey, and his book, which has touched the lives of millions of readers," Doubleday and its paperback arm, Anchor Books, said in a joint statement.
The Smoking Gun disputes Frey's dramatic account of being "good and loaded" one night near Denison, driving onto a sidewalk, hitting a cop with his car and being subdued by officers swinging billy clubs.
Later in rehab, Frey writes, he accepted a plea deal for the incident that would have sent him to jail for three years. However, records produced by the arresting officer in the college town of Granville, Ohio, show that the supposedly pivotal night in 1992 was fairly tame.
"Frey was issued two traffic tickets, one for driving under the influence and another for driving without a license, and a separate misdemeanor criminal summons" for having an open bottle of beer, the Web site says.
When the Smoking Gun laid out its findings to Frey on Friday and suggested he might owe Winfrey's viewers an explanation, he said, "There's nothing at this point can come out of this conversation that, that is good for me."
Frey's powerful Los Angeles lawyer Martin Singer followed up with a letter to the Web site: "We strongly caution you to refrain from publication" of any story "that falsely states that my client is a liar and/or that he fabricated or falsified his background."
Smoking Gun editor Bill Bastone said yesterday he and his two colleagues extended their look into Frey's supposedly crime-studded past when it proved harder than usual at first to find a single mug shot.
"And there were parts of his book that I found wholly unbelievable," Bastone added.
While Winfrey was silent yesterday, Michael Cader, who covers the book business for PublishersLunch, told the Daily News, "Oprah's relationship with her audience is so close that one expects she will need to address the James Frey issue directly, sooner rather than later."
Disclosure: Bill Bastone is an old friend from college, and it was his inspiration which got me into this business. So I trust him implicitly. If he says this guy is full of shit, he's full of shit. I even have a Christmas gift from them.
Read the detailed story which is loaded with documentary evidence.
Bastone was also on Olbermann tonight.
But this, I found amusing.
In a lawyer letter sent to TSG (which is owned by Court TV) Martin Singer, Frey's lawyer, claims that his criminal record doesn't exist because it has been expunged. And if TSG can't find a mug shot, their stock and trade, it likely doesn't exist, and Frey should have had a shitload in his wake, if he was such a bad man. You know, when wrestler John Cena sings that, he knows it's a joke.
My response to that is laughter, like I do when I hear about secret medals.
Look, maybe he can bullshit people in Hollywood, but Bastone, who worked for the Village Voice for over a decade, was tossed down a flight of stars and covered the mob. A lawyer letter isn't going to send him running for anything. I mean, he wrote about the mob and crooked landlords. people who like violence. Some hack who tried to sell this crap 17 times before he got it to Doubleday is hardly going to stop him from publishing.
Singer MUST think he's dealing with children and not serious investigative reporters, which is what Bill and his people most certainly are. TSG is a high risk activity because it deals with celebs, people with money to sue. So they check their facts before they publish.
But what is most ridiculous is this guy's need to prove he's a low life felon dope fiend. If he was, where is his rap sheet? Skells don't get their records expunged, and Bastone has nearly two decades experience with court records. If he was what he claims, mug shots and a rap sheet would be easy to find.
posted by Steve @ 2:49:00 AM