James Frey’s rendition of his troubled past – drug abuse, blackouts, jail time and an addict’s betrayal of friends and family – in the book “A Million Little Pieces” has been called into question, says the Los Angeles Times. It was last year’s top-selling nonfiction book after Oprah Winfrey picked it for her book club.
The Smoking Gun website says it has been unable to substantiate significant portions of Frey’s book, including arrests and court actions for which public records should be available. Frey said: “I stand by my book.” He has said that he initially pitched a version of his story as a novel, but found no takers. The Smoking Gun article, written by founding editor Bill Bastone, a former Village Voice reporter, quoted Frey, 36, as acknowledging that he embellished many elements of his personal travails. The Smoking Gun website, http://www.thesmokinggun.com, which started in 1997, focuses on posting online court records and other legal documents. It was the first outlet to obtain copies of grand jury transcripts in the Michael Jackson child molestation investigation.