Attorneys for 'Jackie' Fire Back at UVA Assoc. Dean Eramo
Court documents are offering new details about two of the three lawsuits against Rolling Stone Magazine stemming from a retracted article about an alleged rape culture at UVA.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Court documents are offering new details about two of the three lawsuits against Rolling Stone Magazine stemming from a retracted article about an alleged rape culture at the University of Virginia.
The magazine published "A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely in its issue for November 2014. In the article, a student known as "Jackie" described being gang raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at UVA in September of 2012.
The claims made in the article quickly fell apart, and in December 2014, Rolling Stone issued an apology, saying that discrepancies in Jackie's story were discovered.
Following the apology, attorneys for a UVA associate dean featured heavily in the article filed a defamation suit in federal court against Rolling Stone, Wenner Media and Erdely. UVA Assoc. Dean of Students Nicole Eramo argues the article cast her as the chief villain, claiming false and defamatory statements were made about her. She is asking for $7.5 million in compensatory damages
To help prove Eramo's case, her attorneys are asking for depositions from Jackie and her doctor. Jackie's legal team is fighting the subpoenas. They argue that submitting the testimony would have "potentially irreparable consequences" in Jackie's recovery from the attacks described in the now-retracted article.
Jackie's attorneys claim Eramo's legal strategy is doing more to damage her public reputation than the article did. Court filings made available say the associate dean is using "scorched earth tactics" to try to win her case.
The filing says, in part, "Eramo has demonstrated time and time again that she is more than willing to use her losing case as a weapon to attack and gravely harm this non-party sexual assault victim."
The trial for a second suit against Rolling Stone Magazine by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is scheduled to begin October 23, 2017, in Charlottesville Circuit Court. That jury trial is expected to last ten days.
Separately from all this, three former fraternity brothers are also suing the magazine.