So I started digging. Little did I realize what I would find:
- According to Warner, neither it nor any of its subsidiary record labels ever had a contract with Shanté, and it was not obligated to pay for her education. Indeed, there's no evidence that it ever did.
- Shanté—real name Lolita Shanté Gooden—doesn't have a Ph.D. from Cornell or anywhere else. Indeed, she admitted that to me in an interview. And Cornell has no record of Gooden (or "Shanté") ever attending or receiving a degree.
- According to Marymount Manhattan College records, Shanté enrolled there but dropped out less than four months later without ever earning a degree.
- New York state records indicate that no one named Lolita Gooden or Roxanne Shanté is licensed to practice psychology or any related field.
UPDATE: Shanté told the following to Lemondrop.com:
I'm just gonna let it go...What he's trying to do is trying to get himself known, to get the popular sites to read after him. This is not a $5 billion Ponzi scheme. What would make someone go so hard and heavy at that?In other words, she does not dispute anything in the Slate piece.