By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 16 2002 12:00 AM ET
Young gay writer J.T. Leroy, who has been quite the glitterati favorite since the 2000 publication of his semiautobiographical novel Sarah, has hooked up with XXX star Asia Argento, reports the New York Post's Page Six. The two met at a literature festival in Rome (Argento's native country), where Leroy was being honored, and "bonded," making them Hollywood's latest and "oddest couple." Argento, the daughter of cult-classic horror film director Dario Argento, is a writer, artist, and singer as well as an actor and is set to direct and star in a film version of Leroy's second book, a collection of short stories titled The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. (Gus Van Sant is reportedly in the process of filming an adaptation of Sarah.)
Leroy, who presents himself as the son of a prostitute who dressed him as a girl and started him as a hooker while he was still a preteen, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the exotically beautiful Argento "was kind of my protector" for the Roman gala. "She read for me and read with me, and I lived with her for two weeks and I love her. She's an amazing kisser. I fell in love with her." In a bizarre echo of the now-defunct Angelina Jolie-Billy Bob Thornton marriage, Leroy added that he and Argento "traded blood.... I wear her blood on a shirt, and she's got my blood on a shirt."
Leroy said he had also befriended former child actress Tatum O'Neal--whose own parent, Ryan, dressed her as a boy and started her as an actor while she was still a preteen, earning her an Oscar for Paper Moon. O'Neal, Leroy said, called him in response to a media interview in which the youthful author said he wished he could have been her in that film. "I thought, My God, I'm talking to a [bleeping] Bad News Bear," Leroy added. "I don't know. I might have to leave Asia for Tatum. I'm a player now."