Richard Gere is Clifford Irving, a journalist who claims to have helped reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes write his autobiography. But it’s all lies. Irving is a washed up hack. He would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for, well, being a liar.
Irving objected to the film, particularly his portrayal as "Desperate and humorless, a washed-up hack writer who lives in a conservative New York suburb."
He said "The movie misses the point that the Howard Hughes hoax was a live-action adventure story concocted by two middle-aged hippie expat writers and a Swiss heiress.
Edith, my then-wife, a woman of great zest, is portrayed as a dull hausfrau; and Nina van Pallandt, my Danish mistress, as barely one level above a New York hotel hooker.
Dick Suskind, witty friend and co-conspirator, is offered to the public as a self-righteous, sweaty buffoon. The scenes that deal with Movie Clifford feuding with Movie Dick, getting him drunk and hiring a bargirl to seduce him, are totally fictional. The Hughes people mailing the package of files to me is also made up."
Irving originally helped the filmmakers but had his name taken off the credits when he saw the results. You can’t trust anyone these days.