By Emma Tom for the Weekend Australian
16 March 2002
“…Like any celebrity, Tara Moss is used to rumour-mongering. The eternal speculation about who she is or isn’t rooting is bearable. But the suggestion that a model couldn’t possibly write her own books has really started to get her goat…Resolving this situation is a cinch. Melbourne polygraph dude Steven Van Aperen is in town launching Split. Why not rig her up to his lie-detecting gismo and give her the chance to clear (or totally screw up) her reputation as a writer once and for all?
Asked whether she’s prepared to participate, Moss says: “Bring it on.” …Van Aperen runs Australian Polygraph Services – a company that conducts lie detector tests on everyone from suspected rapists and serial killers to burger eaters. (APS helped resolve a recent McDonald’s McScratch and Win controversy.)
To avoid accusations of bias, Van Aperen says he’ll make the results of Moss’s polygraph test available for independent analysis and agrees to let me watch over his shoulder so I can see for myself whether her lines wiggle where they shouldn’t.
…Van Aperen’s questions include: Is your first name Tara? “Um . . . let me think about that.” Has anyone ever ghost-written any of your writing? “No.” Have you ever copied someone else’s work? “No.” Have any of your previous boyfriends ever written your novels for you? “No.”
Fortunately the results from the validated part of the polygraph test are conclusive: Van Aperen can say with 96 per cent certainty that Moss is telling the truth about having written all her novels.
“Guilty as charged – I’m an author,” she announces. “Gosh, I learn something new every day.”
Clearly the moral of the story is…the time has come to give those crappy ghost-writing rumours a break.”