Rolling Stone Slapped With $7.5 Million Defamation Suit by UVA Dean Over Rape Story

Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone, Wenner Media and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely for damages

Last Updated: May 12, 2015 @ 11:41 AM

Rolling Stone was hit with a $7.5 defamation lawsuit by the University of Virginia’s Associate Dean of Students on Tuesday over the magazine’s erroneous “A Rape on Campus” story.

Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone, parent company Wenner Media and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who falsely reported that the Associate Dean was unresponsive to a female student named “Jackie,” who had approached her claiming fraternity members gang-raped her at a Phi Kappa Psi party in September, 2012.

“I am filing this defamation lawsuit to set the record straight — and to hold the magazine and the author of the article accountable for their actions in a way they have refused to do themselves,” Eramo said in a statement.

She argues the story cast her as the “chief villain:” “To personify the University’s alleged institutional indifference to rape, Erdely and Rolling Stone cast Dean Eramo, who met with and counseled Jackie, as the chief villain of the story,” the statement read.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court, also accuses Erdely and Wenner Media of making false statements.

Columbia School of Journalism released a scathing review of the botched story in April, finding fault with everyone involved in the story, constituting institutional failure.

Publisher Jann S. Wenner did not fire anyone, calling it an isolated mistake and saying the resultant public shaming was enough punishment for all involved.

The fraternity accused of hosting the rape in the story has also said it will “pursue all available legal options” against Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone declined TheWrap‘s request for comment.