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Topic : 06/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

Number of Replies: 223
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Created on : Friday, October 14, 2005, 03:59:42 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 10/20/05) What happens when you're the target of malicious gossip and your reputation is in question? Seventeen-year-old Hannah knows about this firsthand. She says that since junior high, she's been called a slut, a skank and a whore. See the surprise message for her from the school bully, Emily. Then, a woman tries to dispel the rumor that she was born a man. She even went to extreme measures by posting her birth certificate and baby pictures on a Web site! Plus, Kristi is a wife, mother, and owner of a daycare center, but an anonymous letter made her the main suspect in a child pornography case. What will it take for the rumors to stop? Share your thoughts.

Find out what happened on the show.


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October 20, 2005, 1:53 pm CDT

I feel that

When I was in junior high someone who didn't like me started a rumor that I was a lesbian.  It followed me well into high school and ruined my entire junior high experience.  Luckily, I was smart enough to finally start to ignore it when high school began but a lot of the other kids weren't so strong.  Half the high school wouldn't talk to me because they would get "picked on" if they did.  Kids are cruel and I wish there was something I could do to help kids going through thid type of thing today.  My cousin is 10 and she has Downs.  People stare at her and say things under their brearth RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER MOTHER AND I.  Its terrible.  People who do these things will ever change, we just have to be strong and show them that, lesbian or not...we are loved and know who we are.  I'm sure that when I go to my reunion in a few years the rumor will still fly but they say the best revenge is good living, and I am living quite well.  My point, I guess, in all this rambling is that if you are reading this and soemthing like this is happening to you, be day you'll laugh at these people and their ignorance.
October 20, 2005, 1:56 pm CDT


Teenage girls are so cruel. I know, I dealt with the name calling all though junior high and high school. What makes it even worse is that the "popular" girls are usually the ring leaders and since so many other girls want to be like them they follow along in their behavior. It is sad that someone can be so jealous of someone else they would stoop to putting them down only to make themselves feel better. For those of you who are going through this now, do what Dr. Phil said and find out who you are. As long as you continue to better yourself and be the good person I know you are then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I promise it gets better when you get older but you will still have the immature adult who feels like they need to gossip. All you can do is not participate in it and help in putting the rumors to a stop, whether they be about you or someone else. No one is obligated to share information (that they don't even know if it is correct or not) they hear so if we would all just ignore what these gossipers are saying then the rumors would slowly come to a stop. 

October 20, 2005, 1:58 pm CDT

10/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

Quote From: j052884

i have had 2 best friends do the same thing to me they both talked bad about me to guys that i liked so i wouldn't be able to go out with them. the most recent friend says i can't get friends or boyfriends witch is not true cause i have friends at work and i am talking to guys they believe me over her anyway.
Arg! I know how you feel! I got in this huge fight with my friend last year and told every guy I know that they shouldn't go out with me because "She's a lesbian there's no reason to even ask." I got so mad, but there was nothing I could do because she was extreemly minipulative and well...Yeah, everything I said she would counter if she heard about it. We're not friends anymore but she's still friends with all my guy friends and still tells them things that aren't true, I've even lost a few of them because of it....
October 20, 2005, 1:59 pm CDT

Try to stay positive & like who you are

I so understand why Hannah is so bummed out.  Being a teenager is hard enough,  but when other girls are taking pot-shots at your reputation (and others are starting to believe them), there is nothing worse!   

I grew up in a small town in Iowa (pop. 700) where everyone knew everyone else's business.  When rumors were spread, (I was also called a slut, and I was still a virgin!) we really felt alone.  If we told our parents about it, they usually blew us off as being crybabies.  If we told school personnel, they blew us off by saying they didn't have time for such trivial stuff, etc.  We really had no idea how to handle this.  You feel so awfully alone!  Unfortunately, anger usually ruled in my world. 

I've learned something through the years; be friends with the not-so-popular people.  Even though these people are not popular with the "popular" crowd does not make them "bad" people.  Talk about some honest, caring, mature people.  I couldn't have asked for better and more secure friendships.  Nobody's perfect.  Who says I have to be like the people I don't like?  Ya know what I mean?  Keep your head up.  Remember, hurt people hurt people.  Stay positive. 

October 20, 2005, 1:59 pm CDT


What will it take to stop them? Thats a good question, maybe for people to just ask or be empathetic instead of always trying to fill their head with off the wall things. People look forward to and feed off bad things, things that make us gasp, thats what most crave. It will only stop when us as adults can stop divulging ourselves in it as well. We teach our children to "get off" in a sort of way by rumors by our behavior. It seems to be a vicious cycle, and maybe if we went to the person and asked we might find that there is always little things left out of the first one. If we only listen to one side of a story, we are setting ourselves up for trouble and possibly hurting others.  

October 20, 2005, 2:08 pm CDT

Its Hurts


      I know that situations like these hurt.  I've been there before.  People in my school would call me criminally insane, whore, skank, slut.  There were even rumors of doctored nude photos of me on the internet....Sad to say I know what it feels like to have false accusations spreading around you.  What I did to fix the situation was to accept in my mind that these things people said were 1) Not true, and 2) even though they hurt they are false accusations and are not who I am.  After working through the pain, and the reactions I got from people who heard these rumors I was finally able to reach a center in soul where it did not matter.  Those who loved me, and wanted to love me, would look past the rumors and get to know the person on the inside.  Those who didn't want to love me...were simply ignored and forgotten.  I personally think its how you react to such rumors that cause things to get better or worse.  I've found that most of the time people forget quickly about such things. 


     I moved about 143 miles away from my home when I turned 20, and moved to Fayette to attend college and be closer to my boyfriend...who is now my husband.  The town is small with a population of about two thousand.  Everyone knows everyone here...and I let it slip to someone that I was of the Pagan Religion, and now there is a rumor going around town that I'm a Witch, or a Devil worshiper.  I've ignored most of them, laughed softly when they walk hurriedly away, and dealt with it for a year.  After that year was over I gradually had people coming up to me and asking me very serious questions about my religion.  After a while they finally grew more comfortable with me, and I now have new friends in town.  Even though some don't agree with my way of thinking...they tolerate and respect my views the same as I respect theirs. 


Mrs. Compton 

October 20, 2005, 2:09 pm CDT

People are Evil! Fight Back!!

The best thing that the woman with the daycare could have done for herself was to have gone on the OFFENSIVE instead of playing the victim (even though she is). That tactic never works, people smell the blood and they feed off of it like animals. I would have contacted an attorney and started some legal problems for those who she knew were saying stuff. Even if nothing ever came of it, they would have thought twice about spreading their garbage. Make a little trouble for THEM. Hire a SOMETHING!! Unfortunately, this day in age the only language most people understand is money and I would have put a little fear in their hearts. Begging others to reconsider isn't gonna work! At the very least start a little gossip of your own to those you know will start flapping their gums and spread the word that if you ever find out who did it, they'll be eating out of a garbage can because all of their money will be in YOUR bank account!!! The annonymous letter is libel and the comments are slander...both of which are ILLEGAL.  

October 20, 2005, 2:10 pm CDT

10/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

Quote From: proarmy88

Arg! I know how you feel! I got in this huge fight with my friend last year and told every guy I know that they shouldn't go out with me because "She's a lesbian there's no reason to even ask." I got so mad, but there was nothing I could do because she was extreemly minipulative and well...Yeah, everything I said she would counter if she heard about it. We're not friends anymore but she's still friends with all my guy friends and still tells them things that aren't true, I've even lost a few of them because of it....
she also says that i have been with 7 guys thats not even true to i found out now that sence we aren't friends she has lied alot when we were friends,but i don't talk to her anymore but i do talk to her guy friends and tell them to "watch out she lies alot ".
October 20, 2005, 2:15 pm CDT

10/20 "You Ruined My Reputation"

Quote From: lt6290

 I am currently a sophomore in high school, and I've been dealing with name calling, backstabbing, and mean glares all my life from my peers. But unlike most girls, I really dont care whatsoever what jugemental girls have to say about me. I come from a wealthy family, I get good grades, and I am class president. People that haven't even met me already somehow decide they don't like me. They claim I am stuck up and think I'm better than anyone else. Anyone who gets to know me would tell you otherwise. But for some reason people always need someone to pick on to make themselves feel more powerful. Girls in middle school even threatened to cut my hair off.But I am stronger than that and i know that I only have to please myself, and in a few years I won't have to deal with these immature people anymore. I am called Slut when I wear a tank top ion 80 degree weather, girls really will find anything to poke fun at. In most cases, they probably just are jealous that you can handle their comments.But it's the girls you can't take this kind of behaivor that i feel for. I talk to some classmates who cry and complain over unacceptance and I only try to tell them that those girls are not worth crying for. I could easily fit in by drinking and such. But i choose not to participate in those things, and i only get punished for that. But in the end, it will be worthwhile. Everyone always says high school is all about friends, but i dont think thats totally correct. I guess what I'm trying to say is most friends will come and go, they will stab you in the back. One good friend is all a person really needs. So don't waste time on the ones who just want to impress( if you have to change who you are, it not worth it), focus on your grades and your family. Because most likely in the end they will be the ones by your side. Why does our society dwell so much on being accepted and well liked? We can't please everyone. Don't be afraid to be outspoken and opionated.I personally think the world needs more people to not "fit in."

Good for you for seeing it for what it is. Good for your parents for arming you with the tools to know the truth of it all in your heart. I have to agree with you, the world does need more people willing to be different and stand up and shout out the truth not for themselves but for those they see falling prey to injustices of a sometimes cruel society. After experiencing rumours and abuse in middle scholl I became a self imposed 'freak' by becoming a punk rocker before most in north america had heard of them. I found my standing out by my own choice and always giving injustice a run for it's money in my vocal way, I never was pushed out of my peer group for my new appearance.  

acceptance continued and people started to respect me for standing and being counted and having the courage to maybe not be liked but no longer being concerned by that. 

October 20, 2005, 2:18 pm CDT

Isn't there a difference?

Watching the show today, I couldn't help but think that there's a difference between the rumors that the teenage girl had to put up with and the serious, malicious, and financially damaging allegations that the last woman had to put up with.  


I know all about the first problem. Teenagers can be quite mean. It wasn't until years after high school that I figured out what I should have done then. I figure Dr. Phil got it pretty much right, although it's far easier said than done, especially with an established pattern of gossip.  


As to the woman who was accused of making child pornography -- this is more serious than self acceptance. With a single spurious letter, written for reasons that only the letter writer can possibly know, she lost her business, which was probably a huge part of her self. And people will, if not believe rumors like that, at least be wary of them. Why send your child to someone who's been accused when someone else has never been accused? We don't take chances with our children. Innocent until proven guilty may work in a courtroom, but not necessarily in a community. I don't think going to parties is going to help that woman.  

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