Oprah Winfrey has a new book scandal on her hands. A “memoir,” praised in her O Magazine as “startlingly tender,” has been revealed as a complete work of fiction.
“Love and Consequences,” written by Margaret B. Jones, a self-described half white, half Native American foster child and former drug runner, has been revealed as a fake. The fictional story was actually penned by Margaret Seltzer, a white, private-school educated writer.
Riverhead Books, which published the work, began recalling the book earlier this week.
“Love and Consequences” didn’t go as far as “A Million Little Pieces,” a “memoir” by James Frey, which was later revealed as full of exaggerations and falsities. His book was recommended on national television for Oprah’s Book Club.
In an interview with the New York Times earlier this week, Seltzer, whose deception was revealed by her own sister, claimed she fabricated the tale to give a voice to others.
“For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Seltzer told the paper. “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.”
Access Hollywood reached out to Oprah's magazine reps, who issued the following statement:
“‘Love and Consequences’ received a brief mention in the March issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. While it was a great read, we now know that it should have been classified as fiction, rather than as a memoir.”
It should also be noted that other publications reviewed “Love and Consequences,” including Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly.