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Streisand throws the book at biographer via website

April 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

Here's one sure way to incite Barbra Streisand's wrath: Write a book about her.

Christopher Anderson has learned that with his recently published biography, "Barbra: The Way She Is." Streisand has retaliated not with interviews or public statements, but by way of the Internet. On her website, she has issued a response she titles "Does the Truth Matter These Days?"

"Normally, I would not dignify vicious, mean-spirited mythology masquerading as biography," she begins. "But it seems this latest rehash of other unauthorized biographies is getting a lot of attention.

"Who is the person described in this book? From what has been told to me, certainly not anyone I know. This stereotypic image bears little resemblance to me or anything about me."

Streisand adds that none of her close friends or professional co-workers had been sources for the book. Indeed, her intimates, costars and major directors are missing from the author's account of contributors.

"A few of them spoke off the record," Anderson responded, talking from his Connecticut home. "Karl Malden and Estelle Parsons offered interesting insights, as did people who worked with her -- singers, musicians, composers."

Streisand branded as "a lie" the book's allegation that she refused to attend her sister's wedding even though she was in the same city. "I was in London filming 'Yentl,' " she declared.

The website also includes a letter from her sister Roslyn's ex-husband, Randy Stone, who said that Streisand provided her Malibu ranch for the wedding and gave the couple "a large gift of money."

Anderson remarked that the criticism concerned "one small detail."

"Barbra: The Way She Is" adds to the stream of unauthorized biographies about Streisand. In his list of sources, Anderson includes 27 biographies and other books relating to her.

The author, who devoted two years to the Streisand book, said he wasn't surprised by her reaction. "She made a statement years ago, 'If God wrote my biography, I wouldn't like it.' "

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