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Eramo Claims "Jackie's" Lawyers Behind NOW's Critical Letter

Posted: Updated: Jun 14, 2016 04:52 PM
File Photo:  UVA Associate Dean Nicole Eramo File Photo: UVA Associate Dean Nicole Eramo
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

More allegations are coming out in the federal defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone Magazine.

University of Virginia Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo now says "Jackie" and her legal team were behind an open letter penned by the National Organization for Women (NOW) meant to smear her.

In November 2014, Rolling Stone published "A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. In the article, a student referred to as "Jackie" described being gang raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at UVA in September of 2012.

Eramo is suing the magazine, its publisher, and Erdely in a $7.5 million defamation lawsuit because she claims the article cast her as the chief villain. Her legal team has been seeking access to depositions from Jackie and her doctor, as well as other documents to help argue their case. Lawyers for Jackie are fighting those legal actions.

In January, NOW issued an open letter to UVA President Teresa Sullivan that was highly critical of Eramo; calling her actions against Jackie a, "massive step backwards."

Eramo’s attorneys believe the letter was a strategic public relations plan initiated by Jackie’s team to discredit Eramo. Her attorneys now want access to documents Jackie’s lawyers sent to the NOW.

"They're taking the offensive. They're trying to find out if there are other ways in which they've been working with some of the other - like NOW, and other people - who are raid [sic] against Dean Eramo in the public controversy and they're trying to get to the bottom of it," said legal analyst Lloyd Snook.

Lawyers also claim Jackie's attorneys were directly involved in the origin and drafting of misleading statements made in the letter.

"If it's being seen as sort of a grassroots from the bottom up kind of bubbling of opposition to Dean Eramo and support for Jackie, and it turns out not to be so innocent, that may be a real issue," Snook said.

Eramo's attorneys say this is all relevant in the defamation federal lawsuit because lawyers for Rolling Stone Magazine plan to use the NOW letter at trial. A hearing on this and another motion is set for Monday, June 20.

NBC29 has reached out to NOW and Jackie’s legal team for comment, but have not heard back from either.

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