Judge Delays Decision Over 'Jackie' Documents in Defamation Case
A federal judge says he will rule in a few days on a motion to compel the woman at the center of a now debunked gang rape article to give up documents.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A federal judge says he will rule in a few days on a motion to compel the woman at the center of a now debunked gang rape article to give up documents.
All sides involved in the $7.5 million defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone Magazine went to court in downtown Charlottesville Monday afternoon.
In November 2014, the magazine 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 the University of Virginia in September of 2012. Rolling Stone Magazine has redacted and apologized for the article.
UVA Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo is suing the magazine, its publisher, and Erdely 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.
Attorneys for Eramo filed court documents in May, claiming they have proof that Jackie is “Haven Monahan,” and that she created a Yahoo email account using that fake name. In the original article, Jackie claimed Monahan was the person who took her to the fraternity house.
Eramo's lawyers want access to texts and emails Jackie may have sent while posing as Monahan to prove she made everything up and that Rolling Stone should have been able to figure out the story was not creditable.
Jackie's lawyers told a federal judge they did a forensic collection on their client’s computer and phone to comply with a subpoena. They say they don't have any documents or text messages from Monahan.
All the messages in question were sent back in 2012 and from third-party phone applications.
Jackie’s legal team argued whether or not she created the Monahan persona and email as a way to pursue a man she was attracted to has nothing to do with Eramo’s defamation case.
One of Jackie's lawyers says he had never seen such aggressive behavior by opposing counsel.
The judge asked both legal teams to work together better in the future.