In 2005, first-time author James Frey became blessed with the ultimate endorsement — a glowing review by Oprah herself and membership in the media titan’s élite book club. When Oprah, who hadn’t selected a contemporary work in three years, decided to highlight his memoir (cough, ahem, cough) A Million Little Pieces sales of the debut work soared. But with sales came scrutiny, and before long Frey’s tale of drug addiction and redemption began to unravel. Initially, the talk-show host defended Frey, even calling Larry King Live to back him, but when The Smoking Gun provided evidence of several damning exaggerations in the book — Frey claimed, for example, that he spent three months in jail when in reality he spent a single night in lockup — her warm, fuzzy feelings for Frey quickly turned. “That’s a lie. It’s not an idea, James. That’s a lie,” Oprah famously and very publicly scolded the author during a live “panel” on truth in media in 2006 that consisted of Frey and his stunned book agent, Nan Talese, who called the segment an “ambush.” Of his Oprah-induced rise to fame and fall from grace, Frey told TIME in May, “The last three years have been surreal and difficult and at times uncomfortable and at times terrible. But at this point, I’m cool with all of it, at peace with all of it.” As the saying goes, Oprah giveth and Oprah taketh away.