So much drama on The Bachelor this week – Elly’s shock departure, Helena’s ugly crying and her hometown date, Matt’s bad shoes – that a twist with the show’s romance whisperer Nikki Goldstein is just the icing on the cake.
The Sydney sex educator appeared on The Bachelor to gauge the remaining contestants’ chemistry and “unspoken connections”, as she put it, with the leading man.
That meant dishing off a running commentary to host Osher Gunsberg while hopefuls stared at the astrophysicist-turned-bank worker.
“It seems that she’s having a conversation with her eyes,” was Dr Nikki’s diagnosis.
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Check out my appearance on @studio10au talking about the upcoming episode of @thebachelorau where I helped @drmattagnew explore the unspoken bond he had with the girls. Tap the 🔗 in my bio (@drnikkig) to watch more. – ========== #thebachelor #thebachelorau #mattagnew #studio10 #10daily #datingshow #realitytv #humanconnection #loveconnection #datingadvice #sexologist #relationshipexpert #drnikkigoldstein
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Despite the truth of Dr Nikki’s observation, a doctor called Lisa Pryor took to Twitter to question Goldstein’s credentials.
Take a seat in the waiting room while we ‘unpack’ the media’s most exciting medico smackdown.
Dr Pryor is a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist and author who completed a medical degree and contributes opinion pieces to The New York Times.
‘Dr Nikki’, as she pegs herself on her website, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a postgraduate diploma in counselling and a doctorate of human sexuality.
But according to Dr Pryor’s tweets on Thursday night after the reality show aired, “it only took a quick google search to cast doubt” on Dr Nikki’s ‘doctorate’.
She said she was blocked by ‘Dr’ Nikki after asking about her bona fides.
Blocked by “Dr” Nikki Goldstein after questioning her qualifications. It only took a quick google search to cast doubt on her “doctorate”. Disappointing if some media outlets don’t also do a quick google search before giving a platform to an “expert” …
— Lisa Pryor (@pryorlisa) September 12, 2019
When another Twitter user asked where Dr Nikki got her doctorate, fascinated followers of the thread were pointed to a Wikipedia page for the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco.
According to Wikipedia, that $31,205-a-year organisation opened in 1976 and was “unaccredited” and “for-profit”.
Its approval to operate in California was discontinued in 2014 when it did not meet minimum legal standards for “offering bona fide instruction” by qualified teachers.
An attempt by the institute in 2017 to renew operation was denied.
That fact kept the Twitter chat going and saw Dr Pryor claim Dr Nikki is not “currently a registered psychologist” with an Australian professional body.
So, what is the truth about Dr Nikki?
Via her PR manager, Simone Landes, The New Daily asked if indeed Dr Nikki’s doctorate is from the deregistered San Francisco institute and if she is registered to practice as a psychologist in Australia.
Ms Landes was in a meeting all day and unable to respond to multiple requests.
Ten, scoring solid ratings with this season’s The Bachelor, was asked by The New Daily if it is concerned its resident doctor may not be a doctor, or if Dr Nikki brings things other than academia to the table.
Its publicity staffer Peta Hayes ignored the requests for comment.
Whatever the truth, Ten is just one of a slew of media outlets which heart Dr Nikki.
Her website says she “appears regularly on the Seven, Nine and Ten networks and writes regularly for Maxim, News.com, Body and Soul, GQ and The Daily Telegraph.
It showcases not just Dr Nikki’s romance tips but her wide online range of bedroom toys.
The Dannii Minogue lookalike – who has been voted Australia’s “Best Sex Educator”, according to the site, although it doesn’t say by whom – is “young, bright, honest and already has a credible background many peers would envy.”
The credibility issue disquieted a couple of Twitter users.
“I now understand that Dr Nikki cannot legally write a prescription. Who knew?” wrote one.