2007_06_jtleroy.jpgYesterday, a Manhattan jury heard testimony from the mother of the Brooklyn Heights woman who created JT Leroy, the supposed truck stop hooker's son turned literary sensation revealed to be a hoax last year. Under the persona of JT Leroy, Albert wrote novels about prostitution, sex abuse, and drugs; when Leroy became a hot commodity, she had her then-boyfriend's sister pose at Leroy. But now a film production company is suing Albert for money advanced towards making a film based on "Leroy"'s novel Sarah, arguing that since JT Leroy signed the contract and since JT Leroy doesn't exist, the contract is void.

Carolyn Albert, Albert's 70-year-old mother, detailed her daughter's past, which included bringing Laura to a psychiatric ward when she was 14 after suicide attempts. From the Post:

"I'm sorry. I remember how bad I felt," the mother said, causing her scandal-scarred daughter, who slumped at the defense table, to weep with her head in her hands.

"She had been threatening suicide. She wasn't going to school. Her behavior was impossible," the bawling mother told defense lawyer Eric Weinstein.

"I remember thinking I'm leaving my daughter in a psychiatric hospital on her 14th birthday."

She also said that she hospitalized Albert when she was 17, after she had refused to leave her room for three years. And the Times explained what Carolyn Albert called "impossible behavior": "Laura was, in fact, so shy, she could not sit in the same room with a teacher who tutored her at home. Instead, they spoke by phone: the teacher in the living room, Laura in her bedroom." Carolyn Albert, when questioned by the film production company's lawyer, also gave a hypothesis as to why she might have hid her daughter's identity, "It's to protect her, because she didn't want it known. I think Laura was really scared of using [the name] Albert. I think she was scared of being herself."

Here's a New York magazine story by Stephen Beachy from 2005 that first questioned who JT Leroy was, and here's the NY Times 2006 article that revealed Leroy was played by Knoop.