Tommaso Debenedetti is a Rome based freelance journalist. He gives famous Swiss borderline journalist Tom Kummer a run for his money.
Back in March, an Italian reporter for La Repubblica interviewed US novelist Philip Roth. She confronted him with a negative statement on Barack Obama that Roth allegedly made in an interview with Debenedetti. Roth was very surprised. He did not know about Debenedetti, and he never made the statement.
Though Roth began to dig in. He found a Q&A interview by Debenedetti with author John Grisham with similar denunciations of Obama. Roth had his agent contacting Grisham’s agent. Soon it was obvious: The Grisham interview also was a fake.
Now the New Yorker has unearthed that Debenedetti is actually a serial faker. According to the magazine’s website a Gore Vidal interview by Debenedetti never happened. Nobel price laureates Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, Günter Grass, and Herta Müller say Debenedetti never talked to them, even though he published interviews with him.
The New Yorker reached Debenedetti by phone. He denies to have ever fabricated anything. As he only got 20 Euros, Debenedetti argues, he is not greedy.
Maybe his stuff is just worthless.