A fellow academic who knew [Jessica] Krug back at the University of Wisconsin–Madison recalls how she used to identify as half Algerian, saying that her father was a white man of German ancestry who had raped her mother.

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In addition to the position and resources Krug stole from academics of color, she also stole from the many students who viewed her as a trusted authority to help them make sense of the world and their own identities within it. The Cut spoke to four of Krug’s former students about reckoning with her deception in the wake of her Medium essay, and how they are coming to terms with her betrayal:

“For her to have built her entire persona on a lie is just so deeply hurtful, but also it’s coming to the point where it’s just like, Oh yes, of course a white woman will go and try to trick all these Black and brown students. … [T]he way I looked up to her, the way I wanted to impress her, [combined] with the power dynamics [and the fact that] the relationship was built on a lie is more important than the subject matter of what she taught.”

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“[She] lied with such poise and ease … She ridiculed any students that were still in the learning process that didn’t understand things… It’s a very weird thing now looking back and just realizing that the whole class was kind of a mirage.”

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“We thought that we were being taught African history by a Black woman. And now it’s just like, What else was a lie?

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“I thought I was reading a suicide note [when I read her confession]… [S]he was very adamant that she was from the Bronx — she had a very heavy accent throughout the whole class. She would come in with huge hoops and a nose ring and a crop top and tight, tight cheetah pants. She has a big tattoo on her arm of the socialist symbol [the hammer and sickle]… There was a good number of classes she didn’t show up to, that she canceled like 30 minutes before the class. It seems like she was a bit scattered or a bit out of place in what she was doing in her life. She wasn’t committed to showing up to this lecture.”

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3 Responses to “Jessica Krug, from The Cut.”

  1. Rita Says:

    Still loving this story!

    This is a big red flag to me: “She would come in with huge hoops and a nose ring and a crop top and tight, tight cheetah pants.” No one’s saying you have to wear a suit every day, but if someone in your department is wearing crop tops and cheetah leggings to teach college classes, maybe something is amiss with their understanding of boundaries? This is true of non-frauds too – there is an academic type, almost always in fields like literature and media studies, that tries to look hipper than the hippest 19 year olds on campus, and these people are never good news.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Rita: Yes. Jessica Krug did everything short of burning down the library to signal to her department and her university that she was a catastrophe. Why didn’t anyone notice? Her students certainly noticed.

  3. University Diaries » Morning Star… Says:

    […] [S]he was very adamant that she was from the Bronx — she had a very heavy accent throughout the whole class. She would come in with huge hoops and a nose ring and a crop top and tight, tight cheetah pants. She has a big tattoo on her arm of the socialist symbol [the hammer and sickle]… […]

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