Gay Talese is vacating The Voyeur’s Motel.
In response to an investigation by the Washington Post, the pioneering author and journalist has admitted to having serious reservations about the veracity of his upcoming nonfiction book, which profiles a Colorado innkeeper who allegedly spied on his guests’ private moments for several decades.
Although the book’s subject, Gerald Foos, claimed to have carried out his peeping at the Manor House in suburban Denver from the late 1960s through the mid-’90s, the Post discovered property records indicating Foos didn’t actually own the motel for the majority of the ’80s, having sold and later reacquired it.
“I should not have believed a word he said,” Talese, 84, told the Post. He added, “I’m not going to promote this book. How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?”
The stunning admission comes as the latest twist for the buzzy book, which is to be published July 12 by Grove Press. The story first caused a stir in April, when a lengthy excerpt was published in the New Yorker, and within days DreamWorks snapped up the film rights, with Sam Mendes on board to direct and Steven Spielberg to produce.
Foos, for his part, told the Post, “Everything I said in that book is the truth.”
Morgan Entrekin, the chief executive of Grove/Atlantic, told the Post the company would consider adding an author’s note to future printings of the book. A DreamWorks spokesperson did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
Read the full report at the Washington Post.