The man behind the satirical Twitter account Goldman Sachs Elevator—a popular purveyor of gossip about the finance world—has just lost his book contract with publisher Touchstone.
"In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre's 'Straight to Hell,' Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work," Touchstone said in a statement sent to CNBC.
"It's just a comical mystery to me," Lefevre said in an interview with Business Insider. "As of Friday afternoon, 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."
Touchstone has not yet specified what changed since February, when New York Times reporter and "Squawk Box" co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin revealed Lefevre's identity in a Dealbook post. At that time, the editor assigned to the book told Sorkin that Lefevre had been "been pretty straight with us the entire time" Lefevre and Touchstone were working together.
Lefevre—who admitted he has never actually worked at Goldman Sachs—said he started the Twitter account to entertain himself. Since Lefevre first conceived the idea in late 2011, @GSElevator has entertained a 600,000-strong following with tweets such as ...
After his identity was revealed, criticism began to flow. Gawker called him a plagiarist, and a writer for New York magazine produced evidence that Lefevre may have misrepresented himself as a Goldman employee in past interviews.
Two days ago Lefevre defended himself against the attacks in a post on Business Insider, where he called claims he is a hoax or a fraud laughable.
"I have been completely transparent in saying that my tweets are edited, curated and crafted, in a way that I think will best resonate and still embody the soul and mentality of Wall Street," he wrote. "My focus has been to entertain and enlighten, without being completely devoid of substance and insight."
Today, Goldman Sachs' Twitter account had only this to say: