Rolling Stone to pay $1.65M to settle suit over rape story

RICHMOND, Va. — Rolling Stone magazine agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a defamation lawsuit filed by a University of Virginia fraternity over a debunked story about a rape on campus, the fraternity said Tuesday.

The settlement closes the final chapter of a lengthy legal saga sparked by the 2014 story “A Rape on Campus,” which was retracted after a police investigation found no evidence to back up the harrowing account of the woman identified in the story only as “Jackie.”

The Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which had sought $25 million, said in a statement that its members are glad to be able to put the “ordeal” behind them.

“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.

Rolling Stone declined to comment.

The story by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, of Philadelphia, about Jackie’s gang rape set off a firestorm at the University of Virginia and in schools nationwide and prompted police to launch an investigation into the alleged assault. The article crumbled after other news outlets began asking questions and police found no evidence to back up Jackie’s claims. The story was officially retracted in April 2015.

The fraternity’s case had been scheduled to go to trial in October. The fraternity said it plans to donate “a significant portion” of the settlement to groups that provide sexual assault awareness education, prevention training and victim counselling services.

The fraternity claimed that the magazine knew that Jackie was not a reliable source and ignored red flags indicating that her story was flawed. The reporter did not verify the existence of the alleged ringleader of Jackie’s attack or contact others who could have debunked the story.

“Rolling Stone and Erdely had an agenda, and they were recklessly oblivious to the harm they would cause innocent victims in their ruthless pursuit of that agenda,” the fraternity’s lawsuit said.

Rolling Stone earlier this year settled another defamation lawsuit filed by university administrator Nicole Eramo after a jury awarded her $3 million. Lawyers did not provide the settlement dollar amount in that case.

A federal judge in New York last year threw out another lawsuit over the story filed by three former fraternity members.

Just Posted

Man killed in collision near Markerville

A 55-year-old man is dead after a collision near Markerville Friday night.… Continue reading

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month