Woman at center of Rolling Stone rape hoax must testify, risk being ‘re-traumatized’

Posted at 5:11 pm on April 05, 2016 by Brett T.

Rolling Stone’s graphic and horrifying account of “A Rape on Campus” shocked the magazine’s readers, not to mention members of the University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, who learned that they had been accused in print of sexually assaulting a woman referred to only as “Jackie” without being approached or interviewed by the writer of the story.

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Rolling Stone eventually retracted the article after Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism conducted an independent review of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s piece, but that didn’t shield the magazine from the inevitable lawsuits to follow.

One suit was filed by Nicole Eramo, an associate dean of students at UVA who heads the university’s sexual misconduct board and who was portrayed as indifferent to Jackie’s fictional dilemma. Jackie’s lawyers had argued that she not be compelled to testify in Eramo’s lawsuit as the experience would “re-traumatize” her, but a judge has rejected that request.

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Robby Soave writes at Reason.com that Jackie’s deposition “will take place behind closed doors and the transcripts will be sealed, according to CNN. Unless these records are released, we may never know what Jackie revealed once sworn under oath to tell the truth.”

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Despite the fact that a police investigation found nothing to support Jackie’s accusations, the hoax did “start a dialogue” about sexual assault. While Eramo’s suit names Erdely as “a wanton journalist who was more concerned with writing an article that fulfilled her preconceived narrative about the victimization of women on American college campuses,” Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, for one, argued that stories like Erdely’s were valuable because they helped to put “more of a spotlight on the problem.”

And earlier this year, political strategist Zerlina Maxwell announced that she’d been hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign to assist with digital outreach, with an emphasis on “black voters, feminism and gender inequality.” Her response to the debunked Rolling Stone article?

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And let’s not forget her boss.

Related:

‘Rape deniers’? Amanda Marcotte goes out of her way to miss the point after Rolling Stone retracts UVA story

‘Out of touch’? Today’s Doonesbury treats the UVA rape story as fact

 

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