Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story Retracted, Author Apologizes


The Rolling Stone journalist who reported on campus rape at the University of Virginia has apologized for her flawed version of the story after the Columbia Journalism School published a report concerning the errors that led to the publication of a false claim.

Sabrina Rubin Erdely has not said anything pertaining to the issue since December when an apology was first issued from Rolling Stone concerning the story after a number of factual errors were found regarding a University of Virginia student named Jackie.

The story, titled  ‘A Rape on Campus’, featured student Jackie, who claimed to have been gang raped by seven men in the campus fraternity Phi Kappa Psi at a party held at their house two years ago.

However, a recent investigation by the Charlottesville police found no evidence supporting her story. The two men she claims brought her to the fraternity the night in question do not seem to exist.

A review of the investigation has been released by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and afterwards Erdely released a formal apology.  The story has been taken off the Rolling Stone website, writes Ashley Collman for The Daily Mail.

One of the main issues with the article was the promise that Erdely made to not contact Jackie’s alleged attackers.  In addition, three of Jackie’s friends denied previous accusations that they had convinced Jackie not to report the incident.

Rolling Stone admitted to “discrepancies in Jackie’s account” on December 5th and asked for the independent review to be completed by the dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Since that time, the fraternity called the article defamatory and said it would be exploring legal options.

“These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault,” said Stephen Scipione, president of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, after the Charlottesville police suspended their investigation.

The report not only confirms suspicions pertaining to the story, in addition to expanding on them, but also featured the responses of Rolling Stone leadership concerning possible reforms, writes Erik Wemple for The Washington Post.

“It’s not like I think we need to overhaul our process, and I don’t think we need to necessarily institute a lot of new ways of doing things,” Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana is quoted as saying. “We just have to do what we’ve always done and just make sure we don’t make this mistake again.”