UVA Frat Files $25m Lawsuit Against Rolling Stone Over Debunked Story Alleging Student Being Gang Raped At The House

UVA Frat Files $25m Lawsuit Against Rolling Stone Over Debunked Story Alleging Student Being Gang Raped At The House

After much scrutiny and vandalism, and the school having to shut down the all frat and sorority activities for the remainder of the semester…the fraternity that was the focus of a debunked Rolling Stone article about a gang rape has filed a $25million lawsuit against the magazine.

The Phi Kappa Psi chapter at the University of Virginia filed the complaint Monday in Charlottesville Circuit Court. It also names the article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, as a defendant.

The lawsuit says the November 2014 article made the fraternity and its members ‘the object of an avalanche of condemnation worldwide.’

‘Rolling Stone published the article with reckless disregard for the truth,’ it said.

The lawsuit contends that Rolling Stone and Erdely wanted to advance a narrative of college campus sexual violence by depicting a rape, whether it was true or not, the statement said.

The 9,000-word story published in November 2014 said that a female student, identified by her real name, Jackie, endured a gang rape at the fraternity in late 2012.

The story caused a national furor and sparked demonstrations at the school about 100 miles southwest of Washington.

The Phi Kappa Psi house was vandalized and the school shut down fraternity and sorority activities for the rest of the semester.

The magazine, known for its pop music coverage, retracted its story in December after citing discrepancies in Jackie’s account. It admitted that it never sought comment from the seven men accused of the alleged rape.
Charlottesville police said in March they had found no evidence to back up Jackie’s story.

A review of the story by the Columbia University School of Journalism commissioned by Rolling Stone found in April that the magazine failed to follow basic journalistic safeguards.

A spokesman for the magazine refused to comment on the lawsuit.

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Rolling Stone is owned by Jann Wenner, who founded it in 1967. The privately held company, Wenner Media LLC, also publishes the magazines US Weekly and Men’s Journal.

Rolling Stone also faces lawsuits from a university administrator who alleges she was defamed and from three University of Virginia graduates who were members of the fraternity.

Rolling Stone editor Will Dana resigned in the aftermath of the botched story, and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely has been named as one of the defendants in the latest lawsuit.

It pays to do your job right…no short cuts. In this case…a little more research on something with such controversy as gang rape at a frat house…should have been handled with white gloves. What a terrible position to be in….25 million is no chump change.

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