One lawsuit down, one to go?
This past week, Rolling Stone settled University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo’s libel lawsuit against the magazine over the now-discredited “A Rape on Campus” story, in which Eramo was portrayed as dismissive of a student’s alleged rape.
That Rolling Stone article detailed the alleged gang rape of University of Virginia student “Jackie,” but was quickly discredited and eventually retracted.
Last year, a jury in the U.S. District Court in Virginia ruled that Rolling Stone and its writer Sabrina Rubin Erderly libeled Eramo, the former associate dean at the university.
Rolling Stone admitted it never contacted the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members accused of gang rape. The fraternity didn’t have a party the night in question, despite the magazine’s claims, and the local police in Charlottesville, Virginia, investigated the claims and found no evidence there was a rape.
Rolling Stone and Erderly were ordered to pay Eramo $3 million total, as iMediaEthics reported, after saying she “discouraged” Jackie “from sharing her story” or filing an official complaint about being raped. The Rolling Stone article claimed Eramo didn’t help Jackie and “did nothing,” which Eramo said “destroyed her credibility.”
“Eramo’s attorneys wrote in their complaint that the magazine defamed her by casting the former associate dean as a villain in the article, portraying her as the public face of an administration indifferent to rape victims,” the Washington Post reported last year.
The settlement figure is undisclosed.
“We are delighted that this dispute is now behind us, as it allows Nicole to move on and focus on doing what she does best, which is supporting victims of sexual assault,” Eramo’s lawyer, Libby Locke, said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.
Rolling Stone issued a statement, according to the New York Times, reading “Rolling Stone, Sabrina Rubin Erderly and Nicole Eramo have come to an amicable resolution. The terms are confidential.”
iMediaEthics has written to Rolling Stone and Eramo to ask for more information about the lawsuit settlement.
Now that the lawsuit by Eramo is settled, Rolling Stone and Erderly next face a libel lawsuit from the university’s chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
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