Woman at Center of UVa Rape Controversy Stands by Story

Jurors watch 'Jackie's' taped deposition
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2016 6:52 PM CDT
Woman at Center of UVa Rape Controversy Stands by Story
Sabrina Erdely, center, enters the courthouse in Charlottesville, Va., on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.   (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

The woman at the center of a now-retracted 2014 Rolling Stone article about campus rape is not retracting the account she gave to the reporter, the Washington Post reports. Jackie, as she's called to protect her identity, says in her first public statements in nearly two years that she stands by the story she told to Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely about being sexually assaulted by a group of fraternity men. After the article was published, local police investigated the account and found that the rape Jackie described in the article did not take place. A Columbia School of Journalism investigation excoriated everyone involved with the article at Rolling Stone for irresponsible reporting.

The disastrous article has landed Erdely and Rolling Stone in court this week, facing allegations they defamed former UVa administrator Nicole Eramo. Buzzfeed News reports that the first week of the case has largely focused on inaccuracies in the article, which is where Jackie comes in. She sent a taped deposition to the court saying she felt pressured to participate in the Rolling Stone article but that she stands by the gist of her account as told to Erdely, though she did contradict herself at certain points, saying that before the article's publication she had concerns that it was "not entirely accurate." She was also considerably cagier about the details, claiming she has PTSD and, though she believed her story to be true at the time, she can't remember now whether certain details are true. (More Rolling Stone stories.)

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