"A Million Little" refunds approved
Random House and author James Frey have reached an agreement in principle to pay up to $2.35 million in refunds to readers who think they...
Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK — Random House and author James Frey have reached an agreement in principle to pay up to $2.35 million in refunds to readers who think they were "misled" by the marketing of Frey's fraudulent memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," the publisher said Friday.
Under a deal given preliminary approval by Manhattan U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell, readers who submit valid claims will get a full refund, unless other expenses — such as attorney fees and other costs — exceed $2.35 million. In that case, the company said, customers will get a prorated refund.
Frey, whose book sold 3 million copies after its selection for Oprah Winfrey's book club in 2005, later admitted he had exaggerated or invented key details about his battles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his experiences in jail. Several lawsuits were filed by readers who claimed they were defrauded, and Holwell's settlement resolved those actions.
Notices about the settlement will appear in several publications over the next few months, and details about where readers should send their claims also will be provided on a Web site created to deal with the claim.
The settlement also will create a charitable organization to which contributions may be made from uncashed refund checks and the defendants.
On Friday, the company said "Random House and James Frey vigorously deny any wrongdoing and liability" but added that it had agreed to the settlement "to halt the substantial expense and distraction" created by the lawsuits.
Readers who bought the hardcover edition will get up to $23.95 back if they tear out page 163 and mail it along with their claim; those who bought the paperback edition and mail in the cover are eligible for up to $14.95.
Random House also will provide refunds to customers who bought the audiocassette and CD versions.
Claims must be filed by Oct. 1.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.