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UVA Dean's Attorneys: Jackie Is a 'Serial Liar' Who 'Fabricated' Rolling Stone Rape Story

Illustration for article titled UVA Deans Attorneys: Jackie Is a Serial Liar Who Fabricated iRolling Stone/i Rape Story

A year and a half ago, the Rolling Stone published a now-retracted article telling the story of a woman called Jackie’s gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, and the gross misconduct of administrators that followed. One of those administrators, associate dean Nicole Eramo, has since filed a defamation suit against the magazine.

In new filings submitted to the court, Eramo’s lawyers argue that Jackie is “a serial liar who invented” her story, according to the Washington Post.

“Jackie was the primary source for Rolling Stone’s false and defamatory article that included her story about being the victim of a violent sexual assault,” said attorney Libby Locke. “But there is no evidence whatsoever that the story that Jackie told her friends, or the very different story she told Rolling Stone, actually transpired. Instead, it appears that Jackie fabricated her perpetrator and the details of the alleged assault.”

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Some journalists and rape survivors have argued that the publication of the article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, has ultimately had a negative effect on the way publications and institutions are willing to talk about rape and sexual assault.

“Reporting on rape has unique challenges, but the journalist still has the responsibility to get it right,” Erdely said in a statement shortly after the story was proven largely false. “I hope that my mistakes in reporting this story do not silence the voices of victims that need to be heard.”

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Still, some advocates have argued that she may have embellished an assault that actually happened to her. Eramo’s lawyers dispute this theory:

“The story was a lie when she first told it in 2012, and it was no more true when Rolling Stone recklessly published the tale in 2014.”

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Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.

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DISCUSSION

Speaking as someone, like so many of us who were (are) the victims of horrific abuse, I want desperately to believe Jackie and everyone who has the enormous courage to come forward. After all, no one believed me (men can’t be sexually abused!). The abuse and the refusal for those closest to me to believe it, validate it, protect me, and take action has destroyed family relationships, saddled me with PTSD, and has led to a string of broken intimate relationships. However, and this is a big but, Jackie could very well be lying, embellishing, or simply not well. I would like desperately to hope.this is not the case. The odds of a false report of sexual assault are what, two percent or less?? But that two percent does exist right? I don’t know. It’s all so Damn sad. There, but for the grace of God, Go we.