Last November, a jury found Rolling Stone and writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely liable for defamation after publishing “A Rape on Campus,” an article the magazine later retracted. That verdict in hand, the University of Virginia, administrator Nicole Eramo, and the fraternity named in the piece were free to sue the magazine and Erdely for damages. Now, the settlements have begun with Rolling Stone agreeing to pay the Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi $1.65 million.
“It has been nearly three years since we, and the entire University of Virginia community, were shocked by the now infamous article, and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath,” the fraternity said.
According to the AP, the case had been set to go to trial in October and the fraternity “plans to donate “a significant portion” of the settlement to groups that provide sexual assault awareness education, prevention training, and victim counseling services.”
Erdely’s article was both praised for raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses and how administrators handle it and questioned for multiple issues immediately upon its publication in November 2014, leading to the story’s retraction several months later after police found no evidence of the claims made in the story.
This is the second settlement reached by Rolling Stone regarding this story. Earlier this year, the magazine paid an undisclosed sum to school administrator Nicole Eramo after a jury awarded her $3 million.
(via Associated Press)