Rolling Stone Trial: Jury Deliberations Enter Second Day
Jurors have returned to a Charlottesville federal court to continue deliberations in the defamation trial against Rolling Stone over a retracted story about an alleged rape at the UVA.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Jurors head home after a second day of deliberating in the defamation trial against Rolling Stone over a retracted story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.
The jury began deliberations around 9:40 a.m. Thursday, November 3, but was excused for the day shortly before 5 p.m. They have been deliberating since 10:40 a.m. Wednesday.
Former UVA Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone, its publisher Wenner Media, and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely for defamation. Eramo claims Erdely's article "A Rape on Campus" unfairly portrayed her as a villain, indifferent to UVA student "Jackie's" allegation that she was gang raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012.
Rolling Stone published Erdely's article in its November 2014 issue. An investigation by Charlottesville police in 2015 found no evidence to back up the claims made in the article. The magazine eventually retracted the article and apologized.
Eramo is seeking around $7.5 million in damages.
Jurors will need to determine if each independent defendant - Erdely, Rolling Stone, and Wenner Media - defamed Eramo on three separate statements from the original article. Then, jurors will need to determine if Erdely alone defamed Eramo on a podcast and radio show, as well as through statements to the Washington Post after "A Rape on Campus" came out.
The jury also has to determine if the magazine defamed Eramo in a statement issued to media after the article published.
Finally, the jury will have to decide if the December 5 editor's note from Rolling Stone constituted a republication of the article. If so, jurors will need to determine if those same three statements from the original article defamed Eramo in republication - given what Rolling Stone may have known at that time.
Jurors will be back at it 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4. It is unclear how long it may take for a verdict to be reached.