A New York Times article about cookbook ghostwriters seems to have ruffled the feathers of one Oscar-winning actress, revealing that a food writer named Julia Turshen helped Paltrow with her cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness.” Turshen, whom Paltrow noted in a dedication in her book for her “tireless, artful assistance,” is also said to be helping the actress on her second book.
Paltrow is arguing the claim that she had assistance writing the book. “Love @nytimes dining section but this weeks facts need checking. No ghost writer on my cookbook, I wrote every word myself,” Paltrow tweeted on March 17. Paltrow is also the writer of a weekly lifestyle newsletter, Goop. Even if Paltrow had used a ghostwriter, she certainly wouldn’t be the first—these celebs wrote well received memoirs with the help of hired writing hands.
In 2009, New York Times columnist Janet Maslin gave props to Agassi’s ghostwriter, J.R. Moehringer, for his help on the tennis pro’s memoir, “Open.” No stranger to writing memoirs, Moehringer has published his own, “The Tender Bar.”
Mary Weiland was married to rocker Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fame; she also worked as a model. She grabbed headlines when she set fire to her then-husband’s wardrobe, a move that landed her in a mental hospital. When it came time to write her story, Weiland enlisted ghostwriter Larkin Warren. Together, they produced “Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness.”
The troubled actress enlisted published vet Elisa Petrini to help her pen her first memoir, “A Paper Life.” In a Wall Street Journal article, Petrini, whose name was left off of the book’s cover, mentions that some ghostwriters choose a bigger paycheck over cover credit.