Letter from John Lurie to Tad Friend of the New Yorker, July 21, 2012. There was no response.
Tad - this is the description of your article on Longform.org that was posted yesterday:
THE STORY OF THE DISAPPEARANCE OF "DOWNTOWN LEGEND" JOHN LURIE AMIDST A MYSTERIOUS AILMENT AND CLAIMS THAT HIS FORMER BEST FRIEND WAS RESOLVED TO KILL HIM.
Except Tad, you knew I have Advanced Lyme Disease, which you confirmed in several emails. I never claimed that anyone was resolved to kill me. I only told you what had happened and gave you evidence to back that up. Evidence that was mostly ignored to create a work of fiction and to leave space for my stalker's theories on painting.
I also told you of the numerous theories as to what was the root of my stalker's obsession, which you then attributed to me in the article. For example, the idea that Perry was behaving like a "rebuffed lover," came from a forensic psychiatrist. This, in fact, was not a theory that I subscribed to and told you exactly that. I also told the New Yorker's fact checking department the same thing in writing. However, it is in the article that this was my feeling and indicated that it was something I had said. I have to point out that this is something that specifically enraged Perry and certainly did not help to quell his seething obsession, quite the opposite.
I have seen your emails to my brother, Evan, where you claim to be "astonished" by some of the interpretations of the article. But this is the heading on your article on Longform.org.
On Feb 10th 2010 - before I agreed to do the article, you sent me an email saying "If everything you've sent me checks out, as I have no reason to believe it won't, then I would certainly not paint you as someone who is hysterical and hiding for no reason."
Was there anything that I sent you that did not check out? Because the overwhelming reaction to your article is that I am paranoid and hysterical. And all this in an article that you posed to me as being about my life and work, about "artistic achievement." What finally convinced me to do the article was that you told me four different times that you loved my paintings, yet no one reading that nine page "profile" would know anything more about my paintings than some of them have bunnies in them.
I believe Evan has already pointed this out but shortly after the article, I returned to New York because everyone said - "he would be crazy to do anything after the New Yorker article." Within 3 days Perry was calling me from the pay phone on my corner, buzzing my doorbell and sending me truly bizarre emails. We then met with a private detective and a psychiatrist who both admitted that they had read the article and thought Perry sounded rational and that I was hysterical. After reading the SAME EMAILS that you had, both now consider Perry to be unstable and extremely dangerous.
The misquotes are hideous and through the roof. I suggest you use a tape recorder on your next piece.
I had hoped this article would just go away and be forgotten. But this is two years later and it seems to be trending on twitter even today and referred to as John Lurie's Paranoid Exile. I know you have seen them because you have responded to some. Are you going to do nothing to try and fix what you claim are misinterpretations to that article?
PS: One thing I have been curious about for a long time now is who are these anonymous "mutual friends," that are alluded to and quoted throughout the article?