NEW PALTZ, NY --- Clifford Irving, author of the fictitious The Autobiography of Howard Hughes, protested today that an upcoming movie about the hoax is a hoax. Irving set off a publishing frenzy 35 years ago when he announced his book, since Hughes had become a recluse many years before. Irving stole documents from Hughes’ personal aides and fabricated others to back up the book, but the plot fell apart when Hughes publicly denied ever meeting the author. Irving and several co-conspirators were later sent to prison.

Time Magazine’s Con Artist of the Year for 1972 still defends the book, saying, “We created a lot of heroic acts for [Hughes] and made him into a semi-god. I still don’t see why he was upset with it.” As for the movie, Irving cited numerous inaccuracies in the script, saying, “They have no right to take artistic license with my life story.”

The movie's producers could not stop laughing long enough to respond to Mr. Irving’s complaints.

Irving also made a surprising claim at his news conference: that he is the father of James Frey, the author of the fictitious memoir A Million Little Pieces. “He’s a chip off the old block, that one,” Irving said, his eyes growing misty. “I hope we can work together on a story about our father-son relationship and the times we spent fishing and playing ball. I’m sure publishers would beat a path to our door to give us a book deal.” Later, Mr. Frey denied ever meeting Irving, and said no publisher is beating a path to his door.

Irving concedes he likes one thing about "The Hoax" --- the producers cast Richard Gere to play him in the movie. “They got that part 100 percent right,” he said.