Did she or didn't she?
That's what people are asking after Los Angeles radio host and free-lance writer Susan Block announced this month that Toni Grant didn't give her credit for co-writing "Being a Woman" by putting her name only in the book's acknowledgments.
"I feel very hurt and very disappointed that she's minimizing my professional contribution," said Block, 32, who hosts a weekly show for singles called "Match-Nite" on KFOX-FM. "I do feel like a surrogate mother whose baby has been taken away."
Contending that "I made up more quotes for her than Larry Speakes did for President Reagan," Block stated flatly that "I did the bulk of the writing of" Grant's book and that her duties included writing, editing, structuring and researching as well as "helping her to formulate her ideas" and "coming up with a lot of the ideas myself."
Random House, the book's publisher, denies Block's claims. Vice President Carol Schneider said Block only "assisted in preparing the manuscript" and that Grant alone was "the author." Schneider also noted that Block "expressly agreed in her contract" that her name would not appear on the book's cover or title page.
Block acknowledges that her contract of $30,000, plus 25% in royalties, called for her to get only an acknowledgment in the book, not cover credit. "I accept responsibility for my naivete," she said. "But although I was not contractually guaranteed any kind of cover credit, Toni did tell me that she would consider it."
By the time the book was completed, however, not only was it six months past deadline but Block and Grant had also had a falling out. As a result, they fought over what words should be used to describe Block in the acknowledgments. And when Random House threw a full-frills book-signing party this month for Grant at Jimmy's restaurant in Century City, Block wasn't invited.
"The reason is that Block threatened to cause a big stink if her name wasn't put on the cover," one publishing source said.
Block denies this but has been dropping gossipy morsels about Grant all over town, claiming, among other things, that Grant's list of boyfriends once included Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein.
Grant vehemently said "it is not true that I dated Al Goldstein."
She added about the authorship furor: "I wrote my own book. And I feel that Ms. Block's contribution is warmly and fairly acknowledged in the appropriate place in the book as per our contract."