'The Five': Black Eye For Rolling Stone As Rape Story Unravels
Rolling Stone needs to come clean about its campus rape story
By Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post
After days of questions, Rolling Stone has finally answered the two big questions asked of its blockbuster story about sexual assault at the University of Virginia: Did reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely try to contact the students who were accused of gang-raping Jackie, a student whose shocking story anchored the piece? And if not, why not?
In a statement that clarifies the conflicting accounts Erdely and her editor have given to numerous publications, editor Will Dana explains that:
Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie’s account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn’t confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence.
Dana also explains that, “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”
BY ROLLING STONE
To Our Readers:
Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled "A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university's failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school's troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.
Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie's story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone's editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie's credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie's account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn't confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence.
Rolling Stone retracts UVA rape story
Roger Yu, USA TODAY
Rolling Stone magazine retracted Friday its controversial story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia after it discovered new information that discredited the information in the piece, a shocking retreat coming merely days after author Sabrina Rubin Erdely defended the reporting.
On Nov. 19, the magazine ran a story of "Jackie," an unidentified UVA. student who says she was gang-raped at a party at the house of Phi Kappa Psi in the fall of 2012. Her shocking story, with vivid details from the night of the incident, and its charges that sexual assaults at UVA. often go unreported embarrassed the university and launched an investigation by school officials and local police. All Greek life activities were also suspended in the wake of the story.
"In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced," wrote Will Dana, the magazine's managing editor said on its website.
UVa Frat Issues Statement After Rolling Stone Retraction
by Josh Feldman, Mediaite
The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of a now-retracted Rolling Stone report on an allegation of gang rape, issued a statement today rebutting several claims in the report.
In the days following the report’s publication, the frat decided to voluntarily suspend itself just before the university president announced the temporary suspension of all fraternity activity. The frat house was also vandalized with phrases like “suspend us” or “UVA Center for Rape Studies.”
U-Va. fraternity to rebut claims of gang rape in Rolling Stone
By T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post
A lawyer for the University of Virginia fraternity whose members were accused of a brutal gang rape said Friday that the organization will release a statement rebutting the claims printed in a Rolling Stone article about the incident. Several of the woman’s close friends and campus sex assault awareness advocates expressed doubt about the published account, and the magazine’s editors also apologized to readers for discrepancies in the story.
Officials close to the fraternity said that the statement will indicate that Phi Kappa Psi did not host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that a university student named Jackie alleges she was invited to a date party, lured into an upstairs room and was then ambushed and gang-raped by seven men who were rushing the fraternity.
UVA Frats Suspended Amid Rape Allegations
By GEETIKA RUDRA, ABC
The University of Virginia's president announced today that she is suspending all campus fraternities.
University president Teresa A. Sullivan enacted the suspension until Jan. 9, in the wake of reports of sexual assault and violence on campus.
"I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but mostly importantly, great determination," Sullivan wrote in a statement sent to the University of Virginia community. "Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities."