- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2009

Slate.com recently exposed 1980s rapper Roxanne Shante’s claims of having sued Warner Music to pay for her lifelong education as a complete and utter fabrication — she doesn’t even have the doctorate she claims to have earned. She’s not the only person to have fabricated key portions of her biographical information.

1. James Frey — Mr. Frey’s “memoir,” “A Million Little Pieces,” was a best-selling tale of the struggle to overcome drug addiction. It also was a total fabrication, as the author was forced to admit in front of a national audience on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

2. Bill Richardson — The New Mexico governor claimed to have been a professional baseball player at one point in time, at least until the Albuquerque Journal uncovered the fact that he was never drafted by any major-league team.

3. Vanilla Ice — Rob Van Winkle, whose nom de mic was Vanilla Ice, burst onto the scene complete with a credibility-building story of his upbringing: Ice supposedly was a veteran gangbanger from the mean streets of Miami, his travails captured in the autobiography “Ice by Ice.” We now know his manager wrote the book and Mr. Van Winkle grew up in a middle-class suburb.

4. JT LeRoy — JT LeRoy wasn’t even a real person; the imaginary West Virginia-born male prostitute actually was San Francisco author Laura Albert. When Ms. Albert was caught in the fabrication, she lost a movie deal and was forced to pay a six-figure settlement to Antidote International Films Inc.

5. Al Gore — Mr. Gore famously claimed to have invented the Internet and to have been the model for Oliver Barrett IV in “Love Story,” neither of which was true. Of course, if the serial resume inflater were to claim he was elected president of the United States, some still might say he has an argument.

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