The Girl Who Was JT LeRoySThe creation of fake West Virginian teen hustler and author-savant JT Leroy took three people. One can see the deception as a selfish hoax or a grand experiment in fame—the idea of JT exposed a yearning for a certain type of authenticity. The post-scandal interview by Leroy's spiritual imposter and key manipulator Laura Albert has already been done—by Rolling Stone, which had her broke and borrowing $500 from her manager and mourning the loss of her creation. (Geoff Knoop, Albert's former partner in love and JT, follows her press assiduously, judging from the e-mail he sent us after doing an Albert item last fall.) Now, Savannah Knoop, Albert's sister-in-law who actually played the physical role of LeRoy—wig, glasses and all—has resurfaced with a new memoir (Girl Boy Girl) to shill. How'd she become JT Leroy, anyway?From Radar:
Radar: What did this whole experience teach you about fame? Savannah Knoop: [Being JT] was such an interesting way of looking at fame, because it wasn't really connected to me. I felt really disengaged. I wasn't really this person, so it was "back here" more. [She gestures to the area around her head.] It was definitely interesting, the way people responded to JT and put him on this pedestal. I don't think it felt good. This is just an observation, but it was exhausting. It kind of reminds me of the mute in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. There's this character of a mute in a small town, and everybody assumes that he knows everything because he doesn't ever say anything and he's just quietly watching. When you don't say anything, people just project all of what they want onto you. They want to have it bounce back to them. So it was something like that.
If you read the full interview, it must be noted that Knoop is a slightly disengaged interview subject, as well. Might want to polish that up for the publicity tour, sweetheart! [Photo: New York mag]