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LETTERS

Contesting Lords

August 10, 2003

I'm writing in regard to your recent article on Traci Lords ("Poster Girl from X to B," by Gina Piccalo, July 27) and her new book "Underneath It All." As Traci's sister, I can tell you that "underneath it all" is more of the same: Traci is once again portraying herself as someone she is not and getting away with it because no one is bothering to check out her story.

I love my sister, but I hate what she's doing. Her memoir doesn't "set the record straight"; it further distorts an already convoluted family tragedy. I thumbed through a copy of "Underneath It All" after hearing that Traci had, without my knowledge or consent, included mention of me. Clearly, the publishers didn't bother with any fact checking. Traci's account contains factual errors (for starters, our mother was born in Youngstown, Ohio, not Pennsylvania); draws on circumstances that Traci wasn't even aware of at the time (e.g., she didn't learn of my stint in a shelter until many years after the fact, and she still doesn't have the details straight); and turns on an event -- being raped -- that, frankly, I just don't think ever happened.

It's painful to have your childhood traumas dug up, twisted and put on display. Traci is a survivor, but her book is misleading and self-aggrandizing. My sister has hurt many people over the years with her deceptions and half-truths; sadly, she still does.

Rachel Kuzma

Los Angeles

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