Rolling Stone to Pay UVA Fraternity $1.65M Over False Rape Story

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia / Wikimedia Commons

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Rolling Stone settled the defamation lawsuit filed by a University of Virginia fraternity over a false story about a rape on campus, agreeing to pay $1.65 million on Tuesday.

The lawsuit stemmed from the 2014 story "A Rape on Campus," published in Rolling Stone by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. The story detailed the sexual assault of a woman identified only as "Jackie" at the Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

The story was officially retracted in 2015 after a police investigation did not find any evidence to back up the story. News outlets also began to question Jackie's story, and once again did not find any evidence to confirm her account.

The fraternity sought $25 million and settled for $1.65 million. Phi Kappa Psi plans to donate a "significant portion" to groups that provide sexual assault awareness education, prevention training, and victim counseling services, according to the Associated Press.

"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 settled another defamation lawsuit against university administrator Nicole Eramo for $3 million.

The Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity's case was set to go on trial in October of this year.

Madeleine Weast

Madeleine Weast   Email Madeleine | Full Bio | RSS
Madeleine Weast is Assistant Social Media Editor for the Washington Free Beacon. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014. Prior to joining the Beacon, she was a Communications Fellow at The Charles Koch Institute. Madeleine is from Prairie Village, Kansas and lives in Washington, D.C. Her Twitter handle is @MadeleineWeast.

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