News & Politics

Rolling Stone Reporter Found Liable for Defaming UVA Administrator in Fake Rape Story

(Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

Perhaps the most egregious case of political agenda-fueled falsehood by the media in a very long time, the Rolling Stone rape hoax story written by Sabrina Erdely smeared a lot of innocent people.

One of those people just struck back.

Jurors found a reporter liable in a $7.5 million libel lawsuit Friday that accused Rolling Stone magazine of defaming a university administrator in a now-discredited story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.

The jury deliberated for two full days before handing down the verdict against reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely and in favor of University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo, who asked for $7.5 million in her lawsuit against the 48-year-old magazine.

The magazine, which was also named in the lawsuit, was found liable on 3 claims, according to NBC29 reporter Henry Graff.

Eramo alleged that she was unfairly portrayed as indifferent in a 2014 story called “A Rape on Campus,” which described the alleged assault of a student identified only as “Jackie” at a university fraternity house in 2012.

The article’s publication in November 2014 set off protests at the university and other colleges across the country. But the story fell apart when other news outlets surfaced questions about Jackie’s claims and uncovered that Erdely had never contacted any of the accused rapists or several others referred to by pseudonyms in the story.

Erdely and the magazine set about to wantonly destroy people with virtually no proof whatsoever, all in the pursuit of propping up the false narrative that all men are basically rapists. Journalistic bare minimum effort was ignored and, until now, the fallout was worse for the people wrongly accused than those who perpetrated the hoax.

During testimony, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner continued to be tone-deaf, saying he was a victim too, disagreeing that they should have retracted the story, and admitting that it hooked him simply because campus rape was something that was “being discussed a lot.”

My friend Ashe Schow has done phenomenal work for a couple of years detailing the insidious politics and overreaching actions of campus rape “discussion.” She thinks today’s verdict bodes well for the fraternity that’s also suing Rolling Stone:

Fingers crossed…