How a criminal became the role model her girls needed
HOW A CRIMINAL BECAME THE ROLE MODEL HER GIRLS NEEDED
Melissa Mccarthy plays the late Lee Israel in her new movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Out of despair and desperation, Lee sold forged letters from the literary elite after her career began to stall in the early ’90s – she plead guilty to the crime in 1993.
And while she isn’t exactly a role model, Melissa was inspired by a side of the character – and saw a valuable lesson to pass along to her two daughters (with husband of 13 years Ben Falcone), Vivian, 11, and Georgette, eight. ‘She didn’t need you to like her,’ the 48-year-old tells of Lee, who died in 2014. ‘She was fine as she was, and that’s a huge takeaway. I was glad for the reminder. I tell my kids all the time, you’re the one that determines your self-worth, not… other people.’
That can be a tough message for girls to understand these days. ‘I think we do so much now of, “What do you think of me? Look at my vacation, do you like it?”’ the actress explains. ‘The thing about Lee is, even though [she] made things much more difficult for [herself], she didn’t care.’