The woman who said she was gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity house and was the centerpiece of a now-retracted Rolling Stone article must answer attorneys' questions in a defamation lawsuit, a federal judge has ruled. The student identified as "Jackie" in the article has fiercely resisted attempts to answer questions about her claims. US District Judge Glen E. Conrad said Monday she is scheduled for a deposition Thursday at an undisclosed location, the AP reports. She is being questioned as part of a university administrator's $7.8 million defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone and the article's author.
Nicole Eramo, an associate dean of students who had counseled Jackie, says the article cast her as "chief villain." The piece by Sabrina Rubin Erdely also cast the university as indifferent to Jackie's claims of a sexual assault. Attorneys for Eramo and Jackie have waged an escalating war of words in briefs over the deposition. In a March filing, Eramo's lawyers sought to tone down "vitriolic personal attacks" directed at Eramo by Jackie's attorneys. In turn, Jackie's attorneys criticized Eramo's attorneys for their "scorched-earth" efforts to depose her. Jackie has also resisted questioning because her attorneys have said she would be "re-victimized" as a sexual assault victim. Besides Eramo's lawsuit, the fraternity filed a $25 million lawsuit against the magazine. (Read more University of Virginia stories.)