In this week's Rolling Stone profile, Guy Lawson surveys the damage of the JT Leroy implosion, described as the "first complete recounting [Laura Albert] has ever offered of the decade-long transformation of an HIV-positive, transgender street kid named Terminator into the celebrated fiction writer Jeremiah 'Terminator' Leroy."
"I have the road map to crazy," Albert tells him (no shit!), but the story and details mostly aren't anything new. (Weird factoid: Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins was one of the first people to know the truth!). Albert has frequently—though not always succinctly or in any discernible order—told her woes: financial, mental, legal—to the press since her outing last year.
About her alliance with her former boyfriend's half sister, Savannah, who played the public face of "JT" for years:
Savannah walked the red carpet at Cannes behind Angelina Jolie. The two friends giggled like teenage girls, picked at each other's food, finished each other's sentences, even slept in the same bed and showered together—not in a sexual way, but out of the closeness of their entwinement. "We felt we were a trinity," Albert says. "We were creating a third. It was like we fell in love with each other."
It wasn't just Albert, as nutty as she is. For some reason, everybody wanted JT Leroy, this street kid and former truck-stop teenage hustler-turned-writer, to be real. Why? Because if JT could find redemption, then there's hope for the rest of us, too.
How badly we all want to believe! In something.