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Did Gwyneth Paltrow Use a Ghostwriter for Her Cookbook?

Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Last weekend, Gwyneth Paltrow hit back at apparent claims by the New York Times that the cookbook she released last spring, ‘My Father’s Daughter,’ had a ghostwriter. But as it turns out, the dispute may just be a matter of semantics.

The article that rankled the actress, ‘I Was a Cookbook Ghostwriter,’ featured a photo of Paltrow’s book along with a brief profile of writer and chef Julia Turshen. The book photo is captioned with a claim that Turshen is Paltrow’s ghostwriter, and the article itself says Turshen is working on “a second cookbook with Gwyneth Paltrow after their collaboration on ‘My Father’s Daughter.’”

The ‘Shakespeare in Love’ Oscar-winner didn’t care for that at all, and took to her Twitter account to set the record straight, saying:

Settled, right? Well, not really.

Photo caption aside, the article only claims a “collaboration,” and Paltrow herself acknowledges in her book that Turshen did in fact play a big part in the project, saying in the author’s notes:

“I literally could not have written this book without the tireless, artful assistance of Julia Turshen, who stood over my shoulder at the stove and chopping block for the better part of a year, bringing a method to my freestyling madness. She quantified, tested, and retested every recipe, oversaw the production of the photos, helped brainstorm in crisis and, above all, was my intellectual and emotional support through the whole process.”

On Turshen’s website, she lists Paltrow’s lifestyle newsletter GOOP among the things she’s worked on, and Paltrow has referenced her within the publication, calling her “The Turshinator.” So the two clearly have a well-established professional relationship.

The Times may have stretched things a bit, and Paltrow may in fact have written every word herself — but for her to flatly say that without providing any further explanation makes it appear Turshen was lying about their work together. And it’s clear she wasn’t.

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