After the identity of the person behind the Goldman Sachs Elevator Gossip Twitter account was revealed – and it was discovered that he is not currently a Goldman Sachs employee – publisher Simon & Schuster initially said it would still release the book by former banker John Lefevre but has now canceled the book deal.
As we previously reported, the person behind the Twitter account, who was still anonymous at the time, secured a deal with Simon & Schuster to release a book titled “Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking” this October.
The New York Times revealed late last month that Lefevre had written the tweets and that he does not currently work at Goldman Sachs (he worked for Citigroup for seven years and at one point was offered a job with Goldman Sachs, but never worked there, according to the company. He now lives in Texas). Simon & Schuster initially stood by Lefevre, with the editor of “Straight,” Matthew Benjamin, telling the NYT, “He’s been pretty straight with us the entire time, so this is not a surprise. That you’re writing about him speaks to the interest he’s generated. We always expected his identity to be revealed at some point.”
However, yesterday Simon & Schuster announced it had canceled its agreement with Lefevre.
“In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre’s ‘Straight to Hell,’ Touchstone [an imprint of Simon & Schuster] has decided to cancel its publication of this work,” the publisher said in a statement.
Lefevre was not pleased.
“It's just a comical mystery to me," he told Business Insider (BI). "After all of the noise — during which Simon & Schuster prohibited me from responding and defending myself — they have continued to support me and stand by our project. Well, until today, apparently.”
In response to similar comments made by Lefevre to the NYT, Touchstone publicity director Brian Belfiglio said, “We never muzzle our authors.”
As for the content of the Twitter account, Lefevre wrote a column for Business Insider after his identity was made public.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, any person who actually thought my Twitter feed was literally about verbatim conversations overhead in the elevators of Goldman Sachs is an idiot,” he wrote.
Separately, he told the NYT of his tweets, “I’ve been collecting these stories for years.”
If “Straight” is published, Lefevre wrote in his BI column that the book is not just his tweets but is “a collection of true stories from my experiences directing traffic at Wall Street’s epicenter – the bond syndicate desk.”