Guilty By Public Opinion: 9 Celebrities Whose Credibility Was Called Into Question

April 3, 2013  |  
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I remember when I first got my Kindle, I went crazy buying books.  One of the good things about Kindles are that you can read the reviews before you purchase the book.  So when I went to look up some of Iyanla Vanzant books, there was a review that surprised me.  One reader talked about how they lost respect for her and questioned her credibility when during one of her shows with teen girls who were prostituting themselves, she had Karrine Steffans to talk to the girls.  Because of that one act, this reader completely disregarded all of the positive things that Iyanla has done for people (though the review was written in 2009).

No one’s past is spotless, and no matter what your intentions are, you might have a small blip on your background that could cause people to call your credibility in question.  Especially when you gain the notoriety of fame.  Some people have been able to rise back up after the hard hit of public opinion, while others have stayed down.  Let’s look at a myriad of these professionals.

Dr Phil

The “Get Real” professional has a Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in various fields of psychology.  He first got the attention of Oprah when his firm helped her to beat a litigation case (the beef company) in 1998.  However, his credibility has been up for discussion for years.  Though he does have these degrees, it is alleged that he might not have a license to practice counseling.  His intervention practices were called into question after he attempted to have an intervention with Britney Spears in 2008.  However, he seems to have helped people through his shows and books.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew has helped many people, celebrities alike, with battling through their addictions.  Between shuffling through a career as a radio personality, addiction specialist, college professor, commentator, and medical practitioner, Dr Drew is definitely known in the public realm as a person to help and a person of many opinions.  But these personal opinions are what caused people to criticize him.  In 2009, Dr. Drew made professional assessments of celebrities that he had never met or interacted with.  The fact that he also has agreed that he has a large ego has played a part in criticizing him, it doesn’t change the fact that he has helped many people let go of their addictions.

Steven Ward

VH1’s “Tough Love” wouldn’t be what it is if it was not for Steven Ward.  This professional matchmaker and his mother have been working together since he was a child. He’s taken his talents to help women in the love department.  But people have thrown shade his way for never being married on his own and the fact that the relationships that he sets up on the show never seem to last.  But hey, they say that those won’t can’t do, teach, and even Steven will admit that:

“I stress this every season, but I do not put these women through this experience expecting them to form long-term relationships with the men they meet. I think that’s contrived, I think doing this on TV is incredibly difficult and that’s why you see a preponderance of failure on shows like “The Bachelor” and other matchmaking shows, they’re not realistic, but this is not real life. It’s not until the cameras go away that you’ll know what somebody is like, and I try to remind them of this.”

Dr. Tiy-E Muhammed

Mr. Muhammed has been been penalized multiple times for using the term doctor without actually being one.  He was a professor at Clark Atlanta University, but was discharged after finding out that he never earned a Ph.D.  He then was titled “The Love Guru” and was employed on different shows to hand out love advice, but was caught once again.  These things came back to haunt him as he dated former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sheree Whitfield in 2010.

Dr. Ruth

The short spunky sexologist has been giving out advice since the 80s.  After offering sex advice to the masses, it was brought to everyone’s attention that while she does have a Doctorate, it’s in education, not sex health.  However, Dr. Ruth did do post Ph.D. work with acclaimed sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan.

Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura Schlessinger had a hit syndicated talk show where she gave out advice.  Though she is a credited doctor, getting her Ph.D. in psychology, her advice has been side-eye inducing. She’s called homosexuals “biological errors,” found fault with mothers who work outside the home. All of this came to a head when she used the n-word (with the ‘er ending) a total of eleven times on her show when a black woman called for advice about her interracial marriage.  After the n-word fiasco, she quit her show in 2010.



Everyone needs love, and who is VH1 to stop people from finding it?  In 2007 VH1 introduced the world to “Mystery,” (government name Erik von Markovik) to teach socially awkward men how to score with women.

The show only lasted two years because… who the heck is this Mystery cat, and what makes him a professional?  Also, many of the “socially awkward” contestants were working actors and models, causing people to question to validity of the show.

Creflo Dollar

The pastor has been preaching for the Word for decades but has been the focus on many people’s criticisms.  His extensive wealth and friendship with secular artists have caused people (Christians and others) to question him.  But when he got into an altercation with his daughter and was subsequently arrested, that is when people began to question his credibility all the more.

Bishop T.D. Jakes

The “Woman Thou Art Loosed” author and pastor, T.D. Jakes has been a positive force in the community, but also has had a few people question him.  Recently he has been implicated in helping former professional athlete Deion Sanders hide money from his ex-wife, Pilar Sanders.

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