Ex-Conde Nast Editor Admits Details Magazine Doctored Quotes, Faked a Byline During Drug-Fueled Tenure

New York Times profile details the ‘chaos’ at parent company Condé Nast

Last Updated: February 13, 2020 @ 7:44 AM

The former editor of Conde Nast’s Details Magazine admitted to years of chaotic leadership that included hiding an addiction to opioids, publishing articles with doctored quotations, and at least one instance of a column with a faked byline, in a new memoir and subsequent interview with the New York Times.

The story is laid out in a Times article that also details what she calls “chaos” throughout Details’ parent company, magazine publishing giant Condé Nast.

Among the notable lapses was doctoring quotes by actor Ben Affleck in a cover story in 2007  cover story that was fact-checked by Peres. Bart Blasengame, the author of the story who now runs a music club in Portland, Oregon, told the Times he “took quotes from different parts of the interview and made them cohesive,” said Mr. Blasengame.”

Peres was the last editor of Details; Condé Nast shut it down completely in 2015 and Peres was let go after 15 years with the company. His memoir, “As Needed for Pain: A Memoir of Addiction,” was published this week.

Peres, who says he got clean in 2007, writes in the book that at the peak of his addiction he was taking upwards of 60 Vicodins a day. He describes picking pills up from filthy restroom floors, traveling to Mexico or Los Angeles on Condé Nast’s dime to procure drugs and a pattern of absenteeism in the workplace.

Peres, Rosman writes, also essentially tricked one of his assistants into providing Condé Nast’s travel office with “a 30-day itinerary to Italy and Australia that he could show to doctors as evidence that he needed to fill prescriptions in advance.”

Speaking to the Times, Peres also admits to one especially notable ethical lapse. In 2002, Details published a column purportedly written by author Kurt Andersen, co-founder of spy magazine. Peres boasted about hiring Andersen in an editor’s note and Details even published what was billed as a short interview with Andersen.

None of that was true, however. Andersen tells the Times he first learned of “his” article after his wife saw it and asked him about it. “As well as the terrible piece attributed to me, there was an even worse, horrible, ‘Hey dude, it’s just gossip’ quote from me,” he told the Times. “It was mortifying. Not just mortifying. Grotesque.”

Speaking to the Times, Peres suggests he had nothing to do with the publication of the article attributed to Andersen; another former Details staffer who edited the piece denies writing it. Andersen didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to Rosman, the Times has reviewed a copy of an email sent by a fired employee to the Condé Nast executive who oversaw publishing, including details, during Peres’ tenure. According to the times, the email describes a pattern of unprofessional conduct such as “frequent absences” and “admissions about pill-taking.”

The executive, who no longer works for Condé Nast, told the Times she does not remember seeing the email.

Representatives for Condé Nast didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap, but a spokesperson for the company told the Times, “Since the time chronicled in Dan’s book, our company and our industry have evolved significantly, and we can’t comment on the way our company was run under prior leadership.”

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