James Frey: Five Years Later, Part 1
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Five years after the controversy and media firestorm over his memoir, A Million Little Pieces, author James Frey returns to share his side of the story.On January 26, 2006, James Frey left the Oprah Show studio in a town car and drove to the airport. He had just finished taping an appearance where Oprah confronted him about the fictionalized accounts he included in his best-selling memoir, A Million Little Pieces—and he says he was in shock about what had just transpired onstage.
Five years later, as James sits down with Oprah once again, he remembers that afternoon. "I wasn't sure what I was feeling. I was definitely stunned," he says. "And I just wanted to get home."
A few hours later, James arrived in New York City, where the aftershock of the show was already evident. "I was standing in the cab line [at LaGuardia Airport], and people were staring at me, taking pictures of me with their cell phones, and whispering and pointing," he says.
As James' cab drove across the Williamsburg Bridge toward his apartment, he says that a strange feeling came over him. "I was just sitting in the cab, staring out the window, and I just started laughing," he says. "I don't really know why I laughed, but I laughed pretty hard. ... I think the cab driver probably thought I was crazy. He had some hysterical lunatic laughing in the back of his car for no reason."
Once he arrived home, James says his wife hugged him and told him that she loved him. Then, he kissed his sleeping daughter and ended the difficult day.
To this day, James says that he's never watched that infamous episode of The Oprah Show from 2006. "I think of it as sort of a personal car crash for me," he says. "I just don't want to watch it. It was definitely not my finest day."