UVa Dean Awarded $3M Over Rolling Stone Rape Story

She said discredited story ruined her life
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2016 12:03 AM CST
University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo, left, listens to attorney Libby Locke, right, speak with the media outside the federal courthouse in Charlottesville, Va.   (Ryan M. Kelly /The Daily Progress via AP)
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(Newser) – A University of Virginia administrator who says she was falsely portrayed as the villain in Rolling Stone's now-discredited gang rape story has been awarded $3 million by a federal jury. The jury decided to award former associate dean Nicole Eramo $2 million from journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely and $1 million from Rolling Stone, which has said it will cover the damages against Erdely, the Washington Post reports. On Friday, the jury decided that the magazine, its publisher, and Erdely had defamed Eramo, who received angry calls and emails calling her the "dean of rape" after the story was published in 2014.

Eramo, whose lawsuit sought $7.5 million, testified Monday that the story, which accused her of trying to discourage "Jackie" from reporting her alleged gang rape to the police, left her feeling so low that she contemplated suicide at one point, the AP reports. Eramo—who underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer weeks after the story was published—says she was reassigned from her duties counseling sexual assault victims and lost her associate dean title. "I mourn the loss of Dean Eramo on a daily basis," she said. "It wasn't just a job." After the decision Monday, she said she was "happy to put this behind me and move on to the next chapter of my life." (Read more University of Virginia stories.)

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