Rolling Stone magazine has agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a defamation lawsuit filed by a University of Virginia fraternity over a debunked story about a gang-rape, the fraternity said Tuesday. The settlement closes the final chapter of a lengthy legal saga sparked by the 2014 story "A Rape on Campus," which was retracted after a police investigation found no evidence to back up the harrowing account of the woman identified in the story only as "Jackie," the AP reports. The Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which had sought $25 million, said in a statement that its members are glad to be able to put the "ordeal" behind them.
"It has been nearly three years since we, and the entire University of Virginia community, were shocked by the now infamous article, and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath," the fraternity said. The case had been scheduled to go to trial in October. The lawsuit claimed that the magazine knew that Jackie was not a reliable source and ignored red flags indicating that her story was flawed. The fraternity said it plans to donate "a significant portion" of the settlement to groups that provide sexual assault awareness education, prevention training, and victim counseling services. Rolling Stone earlier settled a lawsuit filed by university administrator Nicole Eramo after a jury awarded her $3 million. (Read more Rolling Stone stories.)