New Yorker writer Jonah Lehrer resigns

July 30, 2012 at 4:55 PM
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NEW YORK, July 30 (UPI) -- Jonah Lehrer, admitting he fabricated quotes he attributed to Bob Dylan in his book, "Imagine," said Monday he has quit as staff writer at The New Yorker.

"Three weeks ago, I received an e-mail from [Tablet online magazine] journalist Michael Moynihan asking about Bob Dylan quotes in my book 'Imagine,'" Lehrer said in a statement issued to The New York Times.

"The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes. But I told Mr. Moynihan that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan's representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said. The lies are over now. I understand the gravity of my position.

"I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers. I also owe a sincere apology to Mr. Moynihan. I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker."

The 31-year-old writer had made headlines in June when he apologized for recycling his work in articles, blogs and his non-fiction book, which was published in March, the Times said.

"This is a terrifically sad situation, but, in the end, what is most important is the integrity of what we publish and what we stand for," David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, said in a separate statement.

A spokeswoman for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt told the Times it was halting shipment of Lehrer's book and has yanked the e-book off the market.

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