A Sucker for Punishment? James Frey Goes Back on Oprah

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Oprah Winfrey interviews James Frey on her show in 2006

If NewsFeed has learned anything from the world of movies, it’s that sequels aren’t always a good idea.

Once bitten, twice shy? If you’re the author James Frey, clearly not. Five years on from getting a tongue-lashing so severe, you’d think he’d admitted to drowning every kitten in America, Frey sat down once again with Oprah Winfrey on Monday. His original “crime,” of course, was his confession that he’d made up significant parts of his acclaimed memoir A Million Little Pieces (lest we forget, the book was originally in Oprah’s Book Club). “That’s a lie. It’s not an idea, James. That’s a lie,” was but one of Oprah’s remarks when Frey first submitted himself to her couch.

(LIST: See the top 10 Oprah controversies)

And now, as Oprah’s chat show winds down after 25 years and begins its televisual lap of honor, she invited Frey — her “most controversial” guest— back for more, even stating that she was shocked over the “huge backlash” from their 2006 têteà-tête.

As for Frey, he told Oprah he’s never actually watched their infamous interview (“I think of it as sort of a personal car crash for me”) but rather felt that he had been “ambushed” after the producers told him that the show was going to be about the “flexibility” of truth. But let’s be honest with each other here: if you believe that, you’ll believe anything (this is TV, after all).

But he wasn’t keen on playing the victim card either. “I knew that what happened was my fault, I created that mess, I created that situation and if I had to come bear the responsibility of what I’d done,” he said Monday. “Whatever happened on that show happened because of me … I can’t believe I did that and I lived through it.” Out of interest, that last part of Frey’s quote is exactly what NewsFeed uttered upon finishing Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning.

But there’s clearly still much to be said in this matter that Oprah is devoting two parts to Frey, which seems an awful lot of time to spend on one individual, when Oprah only has so many hours left to run on her program. If you missed the show, details of the opening salvo are already online with the second part coming later today. At this point, it’s hard to know who’s going to miss each other more. (via CNN)

(LIST: Oprah in the 2011 TIME 100)