Skip to comments.A million little lies - The man who conned Oprah
Posted on 01/09/2006 4:16:46 AM PST by mal
JANUARY 8--Oprah Winfrey's been had.
Three months ago, in what the talk show host termed a "radical departure," Winfrey announced that "A Million Little Pieces," author James Frey's nonfiction memoir of his vomit-caked years as an alcoholic, drug addict, and criminal, was her latest selection for the world's most powerful book club.
In an October 26 show entitled "The Man Who Kept Oprah Awake At Night," Winfrey hailed Frey's graphic and coarse book as "like nothing you've ever read before. Everybody at Harpo is reading it. When we were staying up late at night reading it, we'd come in the next morning saying, 'What page are you on?'" In emotional filmed testimonials, employees of Winfrey's Harpo Productions lauded the book as revelatory, with some choking back tears. When the camera then returned to a damp-eyed Winfrey, she said, "I'm crying 'cause these are all my Harpo family so, and we all loved the book so much."
(Excerpt) Read more at thesmokinggun.com ...
And when will the book be published titled, "How Oprah Conned America."
Gee, ya think?
I read part of the Smoking Gun article--quite revealing. The guy is a con artist in the extreme. What will Oprah do with this information?
A fool and her money, #114: saving the downtrodden from themselves.
That excuse working well for Spielberg in Munich.
People generally forget the fact that Oprah made her first $Million airing scumbags, con men and Jerry Springer type guests before she re-invented herself. Looks like she's sliding back to her original sleazy success.
Oh, thought that would be Dr. Phil.
Oh, I thought they were talking about "Dr." Phil, one of the most obnoxious frauds on television.
Did you know he lost his license to practice psychology in the Dallas area for abusing female patients? I wonder if Ophra knows about that? You can read about it in an issue of the Dallas Observer several years ago. I wonder why the story went nowhere?
To me there is something about Dr. Phil that just doesn't ring true. Do you have any links for the abusing patients story?
Nope, SHE never changed; just the guests and decor.
Oprah always will be - Oprah.
After much diligent searching, I think it's this article:
Why isn't this article in the main forum anymore?
Ping to finish reading later.
So, another stinking liar on the best seller pages. Very sad. This reminds me of another publishing scandal I read about a few years ago involving a man who supposedly survived the holocaust as a child. I think it was more a European affair, but of course, I did read about it in an American publication. I can't remember where, but it was probably the NY Times or the New Yorker. The more people looked into his story, the more they doubted it was true. But he seemed to believe it so much, some thought he was delusional.
I'm sorry I can't remember his name, I feel like it started with a "G", Gabriel, something like that. Maybe someone else remembers this story.
And of course, the infamous Rigoberta Menchu, but you expect a stinking commie to lie, so to me that is really not news.
Good for the Smoking Gun for exposing this ego maniac, I guess he's had his parents wrapped around his little finger for quite a while, they must know if these things are true or not.
Norma Khouri I think was another one--didn't they expose her book about an honor killing in Jordan to be a lie.
Thank you for finding that article.
"Frey's tall tales would, of course, be pretty funny if so many people didn't actually believe them."
This is the saddest line in the whole Smoking Gun article. But these types of "tales" appeal to a certain demographic, as does the purveyor-in-chief, Oprah. (We have progressed in the last few millenia, from worshipping idols to worshipping icons.)
Modern thought, and even modern education, champion the idea that feelings are as important, perhaps more, than facts or reason. It seems that publishers are all to aware of this development.
I read the book. Now I wonder if he really ever went to rehab???
Sounds like he already did. I borrowed this book from a friend but haven't read it yet. Not sure I'll bother - frankly it doesn't sound very good in either fiction or nonfiction form. Losers like that are a dime a dozen.
It's very revealing that he first tried to get the book published as fiction. Then a publisher says to just whittle it down to the truth and they'll publish it. Now the guy's a millionaire.
I would like someone to do a documentary on all of the major frauds like this that have been perpetrated in the past thirty years. It would have to be a multiple episode story. There are too many to show in a single one hour program.
Having read it all now I can say: Now I know the rest of the story.
What a bs artist, he's got his dough, so I guess that's all he cares about.
Really a shame about the girls who were killed, truly ghoulish to misappropriate such a tale.
I guess we could blame Nan Talese, the editor, but deep down inside we all know: IT'S BUSH'S FAULT!
By 1989, he felt he had a decision to make. Continue in the gossipy small town that he had outgrown and the psychology practice that he did not love, or move to Dallas and pursue his passion as a jury-selection expert.
McGraw says that decision was in no way influenced by a ruling of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, which slapped him on the wrist on January 27, 1989, for engaging in unprofessional conduct. The board found that McGraw had maintained an "inappropriate dual relationship" with a young woman because they had "an ongoing therapeutic relationship followed too closely by a business relationship in the form of part-time temporary employment."
McGraw says he won't discuss details of the case because of "doctor-patient confidentiality," but considers it little more than "a misdemeanor," an employment error that he has put behind him. The woman, who now lives in Dallas and wishes to remain anonymous, says she has not been able to do the same.
In 1984, she was a college student returning home after her sophomore year depressed, lonely, and suicidal. "I was emotionally abused as a child," she says, "and suffered from low self-esteem." When McGraw began treating her, she says, he became fully involved in her life, demanding to know with whom she spoke, when she went to bed at night, what she did that day. "If I was depressed or anxious, his first question was 'Why didn't you call me?' Every time I felt bad, he insisted only he could fix me." When she wanted to spend the following summer working for a professor at the Houston university she was attending, he persuaded her to work in his biofeedback lab in Wichita Falls. "He kept me totally dependent on him," she says.
Twelve months after she filed a formal complaint against him, McGraw and the psychology board reached a settlement in the case: He would be publicly reprimanded, and his practice would be supervised for a year. Before the year was out, McGraw had put his office up for sale and would shortly move to Dallas and begin CSI.
the highly regarded oprah was a skant who stay on her back so much in balto. in her early days it was common knowledge;slept her way to the top in baltimore and when she used all the people she could she departed for the windy city.(I grew up in balto. ,went to nursing school there)
I would love to see this as well. Another notable fraud getting rich as we speak is Kevin Trudeau, author of "Natural Cures THEY Don't Want You to Know About". Among the nuggets in that tome: tap water is poison, and sunscreen causes skin cancer.
As a recovering addict myself, I read this when it first came out (pre-oprah) and I even exchanged a few brief emails with the author. It is still a good book even if he is a liar as well as an recovering addict. I think his book has helped people.
The stupid thing is that he should have just had a little blurb that names and events were changed to protect people and make the story flow better. I never took the book as 100% truth any way.
The second book, My Friend Leonard was not nearly as good.
read the (very long) article. Interesting. Someone should get Oprah to read it and comment.
First - good luck with your recovery. Second - it takes a while, but read the whole Smoking Gun investigation. I sent this book to my son, an addict, and now wish I hadn't. What Frey has done is inexcusable. Why can't addicts just tell the truth? I guess that is the question of the day, isn't it? (If he even is/was indeed an addict.) Just read it Rob - he didn't simply change a name or two. If the SG story is true, Frey's jail time did NOT happen. The major fight /arrest with the cops DID NOT happen.
I guess the lesson of Frey's story is that you can become filthy rich by deception. Deception of the most horrible kind - taking advantage of weak people and their burned out relatives. Shame. He is indeed a Criminal with a capital 'C'.
I agree with your message to RobfromGa. I suggest reading the whole article even though it is long. This amazes me. Most people get caught lying in the other direction and hoping no one will find out. Just think this was exposed because all TSG wanted to do was find an old mug shot to add to their stockpile. I got some chuckles out of their take on Frey and Porterhouse reading together in jail. This guy must have skin a foot thick to lie like this and not even look back.
It's another case of what's his face from the New Republic or Jayson Blair. It seems like these things happen every few years.
It's kind of amusing that this guy was able to con Oprah and piggyback her name to millions of dollars. (And I know that I wouldn't hesitate to make up stuff about my life if that much $$$ was on the line). However, I agree that having someone like him out there doesn't help recovering addicts. Also, I didn't like the fact that he used a real train/ car accident in his story; it didn't seem fair to the parents of the girls involved.