Less than a month ago, the author of the infamous #HarryPotter fanfic, My Immortal, surfaced online and the internet went ballistic. Rose Christo claimed to have written the trollfic when she was a teenager in foster care, all in a desperate bid to find her long lost brother. Her plan: To write the worst fanfic ever written, so infuriating that soon everyone would be reading it, building a giant network for her to use to find her brother. She succeeded in half of that plan but, as it turns out, her sob story motivations were never even true. Or so claims her brother.
An 'Exaggerated Sob Story'
A few days ago, Christo's brother started posting in a Kiwi Farms forum thread about the author of My Immortal. It's worth noting that Kiwi Farms is notorious for perpetuating doxxing — publishing confidential information about people on the internet, leaving them vulnerable — and in fact this website was even shut down then re-opened earlier this year.
Forum users were discussing the veracity of Rose Christo's story, and what she would reveal in her memoir — the now-cancelled Under The Same Stars. After a few pages, user DawnDusk jumped in:
Just from the summary, this woman's memoir is predicated on lies. She is my sister. I'm the brother she claims to have been looking for. She hasn't. She had a tough childhood, but she didn't suffer anywhere near the abuse she claims. I was never in foster care.
DawnDusk was soon verified by the forum mods as being Christo's brother, as he provided them with a Facebook page that was created several years ago bearing his name. Scathingly, Christo's brother points out that he can be found online via a simple Google search, and therefore Christo's search for him — which forms the premise of her memoir — is a "nonsensical load of histrionic shit."
"Irked" that his identity was used to help hype the memoir, he continued his account, deconstructing Christo's much-publicized tragic tale:
It's a very exaggerated sob story with kernels of truth here and there (e.g., we were separated as children but largely of her choice, neither of us was in foster care, and she's rejected my attempts to reconnect with her since) to better sell the memoir — why else coincide it with the revelation that you're the legendarily worst fanfic author ever?
Considering Christo's memoir is all about her time in foster care, her brother refuting this fact is rather damning — in another post, he elaborated, explaining that Christo has been living with their grandmother since they were separated. He even casts doubt on Christo's Native American heritage (she claims their father is Cree, her brother claims he is Greek), which is something she has written about frequently in her young adult novels. And most damning of all, he claims that he attempted to contact his sister several times, but that she did not reply. Later, she responded... in a way.
Rose Christo Responds, Macmillan Cancels Memoir
Two days after Christo's brother surfaced on the Kiwi Farms forum, Christo apparently responded to her brother's forum posts in the form of vague-tweeting.
In a series of tweets (which are, aggravatingly, not in a thread), Christo posted about her brother, saying that she "never stopped looking" for him, that she didn't know the courts would separate them, that their mother "held information hostage" and wouldn't let her contact her brother.
This is the only comment Christo has made about the situation with her brother, declining to speak about his claims on her Tumblr. But the drama doesn't end here.
Several days after the brother's Kiwi Farms posts and Christo's vague response, Entertainment Weekly reported that Macmillan have cancelled Rose Christo's memoir, Under The Same Stars. Reportedly, Christo failed another round of identity checks — which she claims is because she tried to protect her family members' privacy.
It could be that Macmillan, having heard wind of these new revelations, decided that the veracity of Christo's memoir was no longer certain, and conducted another test to make sure. Of course, that's just speculation. We'll never know for sure why Under The Same Stars was dropped, but it seems unlikely to be a coincidence that this announcement occurred only a few days after Christo's brother came forward.
So what to make of all this? Although her actions could be passed off to the "histrionics" her brother says she is prone to, it seems that there is a deeper reason to all of this. Her brother explains that there is a history of mental illness in their family, that they did both have a rough childhood, and that Christo's desire for attention is a result of this.
But as this is just his perspective on the matter, we'll never know the full story. In any case, it's obvious that whatever Christo went through did take its toll, and we can only hope that she recovers soon. We can also only hope that this experience — and the sensitive information that her brother posted without her consent — does not lead to her harm in any way. What began as a fun revelation about a nostalgic bad fanfic became a thorny tangle of family politics very quickly. Or perhaps this is all an elaborate con — the entire ordeal is very reminiscent of the arguments "Tara Gilespie" (author of My Immortal) and her editor "Raven" went through while penning the fic.
As for whether Christo wrote My Immortal, her brother has no idea, but he did admit that Christo was "wildly intelligent and something of a prodigy" when they were children, and that she loved to ridicule badly written fanfiction. There are a lot of holes in Christo's story, and even the apparent evidence she provided to prove she wrote My Immortal can be disputed. We'll probably never know the answer to this burning question.
But when it comes to her motivation, her tragic search for her brother and her trials and tribulations in foster care, well, this seems about as real as Ebony Dementia Dark'ness Raven Way herself.
Tell us in the comments: What do you think about this turn of events?