LEROY HOAXERS IN FALLING-OUTJune 2, 2008 -- LAURA Albert is on the warpath over a new book about the JT LeRoy hoax being written by the one-time friend she hired to portray the fake teen-writing sensation.
In "Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy," Savannah Knoop, 27, will tell the story of the charade in which she wore a blond wig and sunglasses to hobnob with celebrities who believed she was "LeRoy," the drug-addicted hustler who supposedly wrote the 1999 best seller "Sarah," about the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old homeless boy. A 2006 expose revealed that Albert had written the book and used Knoop to make appearances as the nonexistent LeRoy.
"I am not in any way connected with this book and it disgusts me. Just because you play a writer doesn't mean you are a writer," Albert, 42, told Page Six. "I think Savannah is being motivated by money and attention. Now that she's had to go back to being a civilian, this is her way of getting back to it. It's sad and it's sleazy. She's really stepping on my feelings."
Seven Stories Press, which will publish the tome in October, gushes in a press release: "Who was the real JT LeRoy? A new memoir reveals how a girl, pretending to be a boy, captured the imagination of everyone who met her . . . JT became a darling of the avant-garde - including Asia Argento, Gus Van Sant, [Michael] Pitt, Carrie Fisher, Winona Ryder, Courtney Love, Debbie Harry and dozens of others . . . Then it turned out to be a hoax."
Albert bristles, "This is a cheap way for Seven Stories to get my story. And it's disgusting they're using celebrity names to sell it. I'm not interested in making a career of JT, I'm an artist."
Knoop couldn't be reached, but Seven Stories Editor-in-Chief Amy Scholder told us: "Savannah has every right to tell her story. It is funny and irreverent. Laura will hopefully feel differently when she reads the book."