The University of Virginia student at the center of Rolling Stone’s discredited article on sexual misconduct at the school is still saying she was sexual assaulted, according to The Washington Post.
“Jackie” — as she was referred to in the original story — is scheduled to be deposed in a lawsuit brought by UVA associate dean of students Nicole Eramo against Rolling Stone magazine, as well as Wenner Media and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the article’s author.
However, Jackie’s lawyers are arguing that “she would be ‘re-traumatized’ if she is compelled to recount her ordeal in proceedings under oath,” The Washington Post reports, and are asking the judge to cancel the deposition scheduled for April 5.
In Rolling Stone’s now-retracted article, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” Eramo is depicted as indifferent to Jackie’s alleged gang rape at a campus fraternity party. The article claims Eramo did nothing in response to Jackie’s allegations and told the student that UVA did not publish its sexual assault data “because nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.”
“Forcing her to revisit her sexual assault, and then the re-victimization that took place after the Rolling Stone article came out, will inevitably lead to a worsening of her symptoms and current mental health,” Jackie’s lawyers write in court documents cited by The Washington Post.
The lawyers also describe Jackie as “a sexual assault victim who has suffered repeated revictimizations, including by Dean Eramo in this very lawsuit.”
Eramo’s lawyers argue that this evidence against Jackie’s previous statements should be reason for her to be deposed.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that the story that Jackie told her friends, or the very different story she told Rolling Stone, actually transpired,” Eramo’s lawyers write in court documents cited by The Washington Post. “Instead, it appears that Jackie fabricated her perpetrator and the details of the alleged assault.”
Eramo is seeking nearly $8 million in damages — $7.5 million in compensatory damages for reputational harm and $350,000 for punitive damages.
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