Rolling Stone Will Pay $1.65M Settlement In Fraternity Defamation Lawsuit

by Malachi Weaver

Rolling Stone magazine settled a defamation lawsuit filed by a University of Virginia fraternity for $1.65 million, the fraternity said Tuesday (June 13).

A 2014 story “A Rape on Campus,” published by the magazine, sparked the entire controversy. The story was later retracted after a police investigation found no evidence to back up the story, provided by a woman only identified as “Jackie.”

The Virginia Alpha Chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity originally asked for $25 million, but said in a statement that they are “pleased” to finished with this “ordeal.”

“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 story, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely of Philadelphia, prompted a police investigation after it alleged that the anonymous “Jackie” was raped by members of the fraternity. After other news outlets began to probe and the police found no evidence the story was officially retracted.

“Rolling Stone and Erdely had an agenda, and they were recklessly oblivious to the harm they would cause innocent victims in their ruthless pursuit of that agenda,” the fraternity’s lawsuit said.

The case was scheduled to go to trial in October.

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