The Man Who Conned Oprah
The Smoking Gun has a new section on The Man Who Conned Oprah.
It seems that James Frey's book, "A Million Little Pieces," charmed her and made its way into her book club. In it, the author portrays his years as an alcoholic, junkie, criminal, and outcast, detailing among other things his criminal career of drug busts, melees with officers, jail terms, etc..
TSG's investigation indicates ... he made it up. His criminal record consists of a DUI arrest (for which he served no jail time, and the police report describes him as cooperative). A drug ring in which he was supposedly involved turns out to be some college students who plead out to misdemeanor pot charges (and he's not mentioned in the investigation, to boot).
His attorney threatened to sue TSG ... which would raise the interesting question of whether you can commit defamation by DENYING that a person is a cop-assaulting drug-dealer, and asserting he was actually an unoffensive, rather popular, student.
It's common knowledge that in a lot of memoirs, names, places, and events have to be altered to protect the identity of certain people, time lines compressed, and things changed for artistic reasons. Only 5% of James Frey's book is even being disputed, and most of the disputed parts concern trivial things like whether he was arrested for driving drunk or arrested for driving high.
This whole scandal reminds me of when the far right was attacking Clinton for not telling the truth about sex, and Hillary for going on TV and supporting him. Typical that the same types of people would be attacking a drug addict, just as Clinton was attacked for whether or not he did drugs too.
Posted by: Tod at January 17, 2006 06:33 AM