A Jury Finds All Rolling Stone Defendants Liable In A Defamation Suit Over The UVA Campus Rape Story

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Following the magazine’s decision to retract its controversial “A Rape on Campus” story and the ensuing trial, a jury found Rolling Stone‘s publisher and article writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely liable for defamation on Friday. According to CNN, this means the University of Virginia, administrator Nicole Eramo, and the fraternity named in the piece can sue the magazine and Erdely both for any and all damages they see fit. Eramo in particular, whom the story described “as callous and insensitive to the plight of an alleged rape victim,” is already seeking $7.5 million in a separate case.

The jury of eight women and two men delivered its verdict concerning “A Rape on Campus,” which detailed what the New York Times called “a brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.” Originally published on November 19, 2014, Erdely’s controversial article immediately garnered as many detractors as it did supporters — thereby reigniting a nationwide discussion about the issue of campus sexual assault and university administrators’ apparent mishandling of them. However, after a report commissioned by Rolling Stone and published by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism found multiple issues “at every stage of the process,” the magazine retracted the story in April 2015.

UPDATE: In response to the verdict, Rolling Stone released a statement in which it apologized to “anyone hurt” by the “missteps” prevalent throughout “A Rape on Campus” — especially Eramo. ABC reporter Mariam Khan tweeted the statement in full:

(Via CNN & New York Times)

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