Understanding The Roxanne Shanté-Doctor Scandal

212536499_l.jpg.jpegMuch has been made this week of an old news item that was widely circulated purporting that Roxanne Shanté claimed to have received a Ph.D. from Cornell University on former label Warner Brothers' dime. The other shoe proverbially dropped, as did my mouth, when an item ran on Slate's website disproving these claims. Apparently Shanté, neé Lolita Gooden, not only did not receive a Ph.D. or any other post-graduate degree as she had claimed in this NY Daily News article, but Slate contends that she also did not receive an undergraduate degree from Marymount College as she had claimed. Furthermore, Warner Brothers denied financing her education to Slate. So to briefly recap, this would make Shanté as qualified to treat patients as Dr. Pepper or Dr. Dre. Videos such as the one below didn't help matters.

The Slate article did bring to light that Shanté was a victim of domestic violence and went to college under an alias supposedly after the 3 months Marymount had on record for her attending under her birth name. Given the events surrounding the Chrianna situation and the fiasco surrounding Chris Brown's Larry King Live interview--his bowtie spoke greater volumes than his mouth did--it does seems particularly feasible that Shanté could have changed her name and had another source finance her undergraduate education. 
To be clear, did Shanté lie about receiving her Ph.D.? Yes. Does that bother me? Absolutely, since from personal experience receiving a doctorate was an experience that was both worthwhile and extremely horrendous. I don't claim to be a rocket scientist in my spare time, any more than I claim to have recently visited Saturn. Is it fair to believe Shanté's claims that she finished her Bachelor's degree under an alias? Sure. In the end, it seems that the person we need to hear more from about this is from Shanté herself. 

"Who Gotcha?: The Story Behind The Story Behind The Roxanne Shante Story" [CSWS]

"Roxanne's Nonexistent Revenge" [SLATE]

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9 Responses

  1. I was shocked by this story too.
    If Shante has proof that she indeed received her PhD, she needs to come forward and dispel these allegations immediately.
    The longer she waits the worse she looks.

  2. Me and Harlem already touched up on this subject a day or so go, but who in their right mind REALLY believed she was a doctor? I mean maybe she drinks Dr. Pepper, maybe she listens to Dr. Dre, maybe Slick Rick told her to go see a Doctor........ I dont know but if she was faking the funk and providing treatment to people then she should spend a little time in Rikers or any other female prison where the state WILL pay for her education, although I doubt her Rikers Island PHD will get her a good job:) as for her using an alias, thats another lie believe me I worked too hard to get my degree and if someone was bad mouthing me, i'd be the first one to pull the diploma off the wall and have the local newspaper meet me at said university to prove my point. Shante has done neither, hell we probably should go back to see if she finished high school......I mean i'm just saying:)

  3. THIS JUST IN!!!!!!!!!THIS JUST IN!!!!!!!!!!THIS JUST IN........
    Dr. Shante has announced a new keynote speaker tour, it 's being called "The Community College & GED Prep Course Tour". On another note Al Gore said "number 3 speaker my ass" more news to follow as it become available:)

  4. @stoneyisland: What do you mean, "but who in their right mind REALLY believed she was a doctor?"
    Her story was simple. After her career waned, she took advantage of an opportunity and decided to pursue an education.
    What is it about her original story that alerted you to the fact that she was lying about going back to school?
    Celebs/former-celebs go back to school all the time (i.e. Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman)
    I mean, enlightened us, stoney.

  5. That video was painful to watch after learning that she doesn't have a Ph.D in Psychology. #3 keynote speaker behind Al Gore? Wow, just wow!

  6. @chynadoll, first of all, what up love.........Now lets down to the nitty gritty. You wanna know what alerted me to the fact? Shante did! she spoke at seminar that my cousin attented, he came back and said she was basically talking out the side of her neck. There were several questions asked and she didnt know what the hell she was talking about. I mean come on Chyna we dont need Mark Furman to plant evidence this time. If she had her PHD, then why hasnt she come forth and produce ANY evidence? her scam is up. As for celebs who go back to school both Jodie and Natalie had something to fall back on.....Money and a career. I hope this enlightens and clears up things, now meet me at the local IHOP and lets break some bread:)
    Dr. Stony
    Chief Resident Surgeon, John Hopkins Medical center

  7. Sometimes Stoney you and I don't agree, but this is definitely a topic that we are seeing eye-to-eye.
    I mentioned this briefly in the post but I will elucidate further. The reason why this hurt me so much is because I actually have a medical degree. I am a physician, and I have been trained as a psychiatrist. If anyone out there has ever undertaken the task of obtaining a doctorate, it is absolutely the most horrible and worthwhile experience in life. The fact that she lied about this really saddens me. In effect it says that it's okay to lie about something as amazing as obtaining a post-doctorate degree. That just really doesn't sit well with me.
    And even if she did receive her Bachelor's degree which is a great achievement as well, passing yourself off as a doctor and claiming that you are a trained psychologist is just a slap in the face to those who put in the hard work to get their reward.
    Whether she is truly helping people or not, the fact of the matter is that she lied about too many things to make me look at her the way I used to.

  8. @stoney:
    See. Illumination is a wonderful thing.
    In your earlier post you didn't mention the fact that your cousin attended a seminar and heard Shante speak. I assumed you dismissed the idea that Shante had a PhD simply based on her assertation that she had one.
    And I'm assuming your cousin has enough knowledge of and experience with psychiatry to have adequately evaluated Shante's presentation.
    Now I see where you're coming from. On this.

  9. As much as I WANTED it to be true, I knew this story was a fake immediately. The timing didn't make since. The claim was that she earned PhD in 1991 at 21 years old? Not likely.
    However, I am more alarmed that this story was reported by many online "news" outlets (even major newspapers) without basic fact-checking. This deepens my concern about the rapid decline of reliable journalism today.