Former New York Times food critic has been unveiling all his secrets in service of promoting his book—his undercover aliases, his credit card numbers, his weight issues. Today, it's the grand lie that was his fake author photo.

Salon's Kerry Lauerman interviewed the "city's most terrifying eater," and Bruni revealed the horrifying truth about the author photo for Ambling Into History, his 2002 book about Bush, which happened to be the one photo circulating when Bruni disappeared himself into anonymity for his restaurant gig—it was digitally stretched out to lengthen his face and make him look less fat:

[T]he one photo that was out there a lot and was more accurate was in fact a photo that was a total lie. As you know, I tell the story in the book about when my author photo was being taken for a book I wrote that was published in 2002 about George W. Bush. I was at my big weight, and it was unacceptable to me that I look like that in my author photograph. And without ever even telling the publishing house, I not only had a lot of shadowy photography done but I had a kind of early version of Photoshopping done to the photo to kind of stretch my face.

Bruni also lets drop that the VERY BLOG YOU ARE READING unwittingly snapped a photo of Bruni in 2005. That's Lauerman at a Gawker party for Arianna Huffington (those were the days!), and the man who reflexively turned his head away from the camera on the right is the mysterious Bruni. Now that we see it, we'd recognize that ear anywhere.

Here's the full Skype interview: