Rolling Stone writer: ‘Startled’ when woman backed off story
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.>>The author of the discredited Rolling Stone magazine article about a woman’s claim of being gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity says she was “startled” when the woman seemed to back off her story following its publication.
The writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, continued her testimony Saturday in a court case over the article. University administrator Nicole Eramo has sued the magazine for $7.8 million, claiming the article made her its “chief villain” and was defamatory.
The story, “A Rape on Campus,” was published on Nov. 19, 2014 and tells the story of a woman identified only as “Jackie,” who claimed she was gangraped by seven men. A police investigation later found no evidence to back up Jackie’s claims. Rolling Stone ultimately retracted its story.
The Washington Post reports Erdely testified that she reached out to Jackie on the morning of Dec. 5, 2014 and asked her if she had gone to the police to report the crime following the story’s publication. Jackie told her it wasn’t the right time, she said.
“I was a little surprised,” Erdely testified. “A couple of other things struck me as odd . ... I was getting a little hinky feeling.”
Erdely testified that for the first time, Jackie expressed doubt about whether her alleged assailant was in Phi Psi, the fraternity she had said he belonged to.