Oprah Winfrey has yet to comment on Herman Rosenblat and his debunked story of meeting his future wife in a Nazi concentration camp. But a brief disclaimer has been added to her website, www.oprah.com, which still devotes substantial space to the Rosenblat romance.
"On December 27, 2008, Herman Rosenblat admitted to fictionalizing portions of his life story, including how he met his wife," reads the update, which was posted Monday. "Based on this admission, the publisher of his forthcoming memoir - 'Angel at the Fence' - cancelled plans to print his book."
The update appears at the bottom of the first of three pages about Rosenblat, his wife Roma and their two appearances on Winfrey's television show. Winfrey spokeswoman Angela DePaul, when asked Tuesday why Rosenblat's story - listed on the site as the first example of "Love Lessons From Amazing Couples" - wasn't removed, referred to the update posted by "the oprah.com editorial team" and declined further comment.
Rosenblat, 79, a resident of North Miami Beach, Fla., was a Holocaust survivor who for years had endeared himself to Winfrey and others by recalling how he and his wife met on opposite sides of a barbed-wire fence at a sub-camp of Buchenwald in the 1940s and were reunited more than a decade later on a blind date in New York. Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), had planned to release his memoir in February.
But after scholars, friends and family members challenged him, Rosenblat acknowledged the story was untrue and Berkley pulled the book. A planned feature film is still scheduled to begin production this year, with producer Harris Salomon saying that the script may note the "fabricated elements of their wartime love story."
Winfrey's site also refers to another discredited guest, James Frey. In 2005, Winfrey chose Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" for her book club, but later brought him back on the show and chewed him out after he had acknowledged fabricating substantial parts of his memoir.
"A Million Little Pieces" remains on the list of Winfrey picks, but the website emphasizes the memoir's fall, including a transcript of Frey's unhappy return. The text for an earlier, more favourable link to Frey's book, labelled "A Powerful Story," has been removed.