UVA Dean Sues Rolling Stone For Defamation After Gang-rape Article

Almost two years ago, Rolling Stone published a now retracted article detailing the gang-rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity, which also highlighted the shitty way the administration handled the assault. Once the article came out, there was immediate backlash from the school, claiming Jackie’s recounting in the Rolling Stone didn’t match up with her reports at the school, and therefore she was lying — or stretching the truth — about the rape. Now, two years after the fact, UVA administrator Nicole Errano has lawyered up and gone full in, guns blazing, to sue Rolling Stone for defamation.

Sabrina Erdely, the journalist who wrote the piece, was harshly criticized for not investigating the story thoroughly and said in a statement following everything, she “hopes this won’t silence victims in the future.”

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the spectrum, Errano’s lawyers are claiming Jackie is a “serial liar who invented the whole story.”

It seems extremely petty and suspicious to me that an administrator who was supposedly in the right AND had the article taken down needs to now go to the measure of suing? Is she that down-trodden and strapped for cash that she needs to perpetuate the extremely destructive narrative of false rape accusations?

It’s a depressing to me that cases like this do in fact contribute to the future silencing of victims who come forward. Oftentimes the trauma of rape and assault cause inconsistent memory and recounting, which is only exacerbated by the choir of doubt surrounding you.

Jackie’s story, despite its validity in either direction, is now being actively held up as a red caution flag to survivors who might otherwise come forward. It’s a destructive and too common message that says: “Are you sure that happened?! Don’t fuck it up, or YOU’RE the villain!”