Just nine months after Rolling Stone retracted its controversial UVA rape story about alleged sexual assault victim “Jackie,” Vanity Fair went back to the campus to speak to three women who were close to her, but in the process discovered more rape victims, incidents of racism, murder and suicide.
Three women who supported “Jackie,” subject of November’s Rolling Stone story titled “A Rape on Campus” detailing an alleged gang rape by the men of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, broke their silence for the first time about the events of 2014.
Vanity Fair writer Sarah Ellison returned to her UVA, her alma mater and uncovered shocking new discoveries on the Virginia campus. One was the disappearance of Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old freshman who went missing in 2014 and whose remains were found five weeks later. Another shocking event that took place was an act of violence against African-American student, Martese Johnson, by two A.B.C. police officers, who believed his I.D. was fake. Three students also committed suicide on campus, one of who was the heir to the D’Agostino supermarket chain.
Rolling Stone’s UVA story led to the eventual departure of the magazine’s managing editor, Will Dana, who exited in August. The story’s reporter, Sabrina Erdely, remains employed and has since only apologized for her reporting in April of this year.
Now, three of “Jackie’s” former supporters — Emily Renda, Alex Pinkleton and Sara Surface — have revealed new information regarding the original story’s inconsistencies and its repercussions.
Here are 12 of the most shocking revelations:
* Since 1998, UVA has expelled 187 students for lying, cheating, or stealing, but not a single person has been kicked out for sexual assault.
* Last fall, 3 students committed suicide, one of which was an heir to the D’Agostino supermarket chain.
* A day after St. Patrick’s Day, a video surfaced of an African-America UVA student lying on the pavement outside of a bar with his face bloody. Two white Alcoholic Beverage Control (A.B.C.) officers were keeping him down while he was screaming, “I go to UVA!” He spent several hours in jail that night, and no charges were ever filed against the officers. All this because they questioned the validity of his I.D.
* Hannah Graham was reported missing after her last text message to her friends on Sept. 13, 2014. The following Thursday, police released a surveillance video where Graham was seen walking around with a black man. Jesse Matthew Jr., an African-American man who worked at the university’s medical center, was identified as a subject and charged with abduction “with intent to defile.” Five weeks after her disappearance, Kevin Spacey was supposed to give a speech in Charlottesville, when police found the remains of Graham. Matthew Jr. will face the death penalty when he goes on trial in July.
* In regards to the Rolling Stone story, the Dean’s associate, Nicole Eramo, has sued Erdely and Rolling Stone for $8 million for the way she is described in the article. In the story, Erdely portrayed the university as being a place that discouraged the reporting of sexual assault. Eramo served as a counselor to sexual-assault victims, and was quoted as responding to a question about why UVA statistics on rape were hard to find with the following sentence: “Because nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.”
* Three Phi Kappa Psi brothers have sued Rolling Stone and Erdely for “mental anguish and severe emotional distress.”
* Pinkleton and Renda were victims of sexual assault during their time of UVA — by the time Renda told people about her assaulter, he had already transferred schools.
* Multiple things were revealed about Erdely’s lack of integrative reporting. Firstly, she allegedly complained that no one from the school’s administration would talk to her about the story. However, this was at the time Graham went missing, and the school had set priorities to find her. Pinkleton, Surface and Renda described Erdely as pushy and that her journalistic focus was misleading because she primarily focused on Jackie’s story as opposed to the other women’s rape experiences, because it was more “dramatic.” Moreover, Although Pinkleton and Surface were part of an organization to help prevent sexual assault at UVA, this was never mentioned in the article, therefore dismantling their credibility.
* Jackie kept referring to the boy who escorted her to the party and instructed the fraternity brothers to “rape” her as “Drew,” whose real name she apparently revealed later. He allegedly directly communicated with Jackie and her friends. However, there was no member of the fraternity by that name.
* After Pinkleton and Surface realized that “Drew” didn’t fit into the story, a Washington Post reporter named T. Rees Shapiro wanted to speak to “Drew,” and that’s when the girls realized that they needed to voice their thoughts about Jackie’s story. They confronted Jackie, and told her about the upcoming Post story. The Washington Post wrote that the fraternity had not held an event the night of Jackie’s alleged sexual assault, and sources told Shapiro that the story they had heard Jackie tell about the event differed from that in the Rolling Stone article.
* The next week, the Washington Post identified further discrepancies in the story — text messages from Jackie to a friend suggested that she made up “Drew.” However, others speculated that the details in Jackie’s account stemmed from a book a UVA alumna named Liz Seccuro published in 2011, in which she had been raped repeatedly at a Phi Kappa Psi party in 1984.
* Since the publication of Rolling Stone’s retraction, “Jackie” has vanished and her friends haven’t heard from her since the story fell apart.