Watch The Cult of JT Leroy
- 1 hr 32 min
J.T. Leroy burst onto the literary scene in the early 2000s with his transgressive tomes "Sarah" and "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things". The novels' charged tales of vicious child abuse inflicted on young queer kids earned the mysterious author comparisons to William S. Burroughs and Dennis Cooper. Celebrities like Courtney Love and Winona Ryder soon flocked to Leroy's side, deeply moved by the heartbreaking, supposedly autobiographical narratives in the books. Leroy himself began making public appearances, rocking a Warholian, semi-disguised look that fit with the "abused child" narrative he had created. Most of Leroy's fans and friends overlooked some of the glaring inconsistencies in his story, but when a reporter started to probe, he soon uncovered that there was in fact, no such person as J.T. Leroy. Leroy had been an elaborate literary hoax, carefully staged by a woman named Laura Alpert, who wrote the novels, and her husband Geoffrey Knoop, whose sister Savannah played Leroy in public appearances. Weaving never-before-seen documentary footage shot during the height of Leroy's fame with interviews with some of Leroy/Alpert's friends and critics, including Asia Argento, Dennis Cooper, Bruce Benderson and more, director Marjorie Sturm delves deep into one of the greatest cultural cons of the 21st century, and the troubled mind behind it all.