The bizarre case of Laura Albert aka JT Leroy, the Brooklyn Heights woman who claimed to be a West Virginia boy lured into prostitution by his mother in the book Sarah made headlines this week. Her mother Carolyn testified in the civil case brought against the author by a film company claiming they were misled by the writer's representation of the book as a true story:
New York Times: Testimony of Life…: The first tentative answer was revealed yesterday when Ms. Albert’s own mother, Carolyn Albert, took the witness stand at her daughter’s civil fraud trial in Manhattan. A film production company is suing Laura Albert, trying to recoup the money she received for a contract to make a feature film of “Sarah.” The company, Antidote International Films Inc., says the contract should be voided, mainly because its signatory, JT Leroy, does not exist…
…Under questioning from Eric Weinstein, Laura Albert’s lawyer, she told the court her daughter had a deeply troubled childhood marred by absenteeism from school and suicide threats. There was divorce and what she 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 said.
There were two brief stints in psychiatric wards, the first when Laura was 14. The day her mother dropped her at the ward was her birthday. As Carolyn Albert said this to the court, her eyes clouded up, and she began to weep.
“I brought her there on her 14th birthday. I remember thinking, I’m leaving my daughter in a psychiatric hospital. I’m sorry,” she said. Then her voice trailed off into a wail.