War of Words: Wounds from Running with Scissors Opened


I’ve heard about the lawsuit filed by the Turcottes, the family depicted in Augusten Burroughs’ best-selling memoir Running with Scissors, on and off for years. Apparently it was settled out of court prior to the release of the film that was based on the memoir. Now, the Turcottes, depicted in the memoir as the Finches, have their say in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. Here’s the article in a nutshell:

“The Turcottes say the betrayal they felt was monumental, given that in their estimation they had opened up their hearts to Burroughs in the 1970s and 1980s when he was lonely and afraid and suicidal, had loved him, had seen the seed of something brilliant in him, had laughed at the stories that came from his vivid imagination and his propensity to exaggerate, had given him money, and had provided him with the sense of connection that Burroughs himself, in a letter to a family member, had said he hungered for, only to read about themselves years later—in a book they say they knew nothing about—portrayed in a way they felt was cruel and remarkably malicious and false in close to two dozen instances.”

Though the family bitches and moans about how humiliating their whole ordeal has been, I find it telling that even with the lawsuit settled they decide to drag it out in all its sorry detail.

ADDENDUM: To clarify, the family’s suit against SONY has been settled. Their suit against the publisher may apparently still be pending.

Ruthless with Scissors [vanity fair]