Appeals court defangs author of phony wolf memoir


(JTA) — A publisher does not have to pay writer Misha Defonseca for her false memoir about surviving the Holocaust with the help of wolves, a Massachusetts appeals court ruled.

A panel of judges ruled Nov. 24 that Mt. Ivy Press owner Jane Daniel does not have to pay Defonseca $22.5 million, but that the publisher owes $10 million to ghost writer Vera Lee, who did not know that the story was a hoax. A lower court had awarded the money to the authors in a dispute over the best-selling book’s profits.

In "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years,” Defonseca wrote that she was Jewish and had survived the Holocaust as a child by wandering through Europe under the protection of a pack of wolves."

The book was translated into 18 languages and made into a feature film in France before Defonseca admitted in February 2008 that she had made up the stories in the book and was not even Jewish. 

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