Allegra Coleman was a fictional celebrity invented by writer Martha Sherrill for the purposes of a hoax magazine article. Model Ali Larter portrayed the imaginary model in Sherrill's feature, which appeared in Esquire (November 1996).
In a parody of celebrity profiles, the article described Coleman's role an upcoming movie with Woody Allen, her tempestuous relationship with David Schwimmer (including a scandal involving nude photographs supposedly taken by paparazzi) and her friendship with Deepak Chopra. The hoax was revealed by Esquire editor Edward Kosner in a press release to the news wire services.
Sherrill later wrote a satirical novel on Hollywood life that featured Allegra Coleman as a prominent character. The novel, My Last Movie Star, was published by Random House in 2003.
Although response to the affair was perhaps less vigorous than the magazine's publishers might have hoped for, given that the article was, in essence, a publicity stunt, the article written about her new "It Girl" status prompted calls from studios and talent scouts eager to offer her scripts. Some responses focused on the ethics of the affair; Schwimmer's friends were reported to have complained of the invasion of privacy involved in using the actor's fame. Writing in Salon, David Futrelle commented that the affair seemed to hearken back to Esquire's mid-1960s heyday. A writer on suck.com noted that the Coleman satire was essentially indistinguishable from the normal run of the magazine's celebrity reporting.