November 19, 2017


Rolling Stone is defending itself against a defamation lawsuit over a discredited article about a University of Virginia gang rape by arguing that members of a school fraternity knew about discrepancies in the woman’s claims weeks before the article was published and should have warned the magazine.

Lawyers for Rolling Stone argue in court documents that the fraternity and its members withheld that information from the magazine and its reporter, “at a time when disclosing such information would have prevented publication” of the woman’s allegations.

Ashe Schow of the Federalist tweets that Sabrina Erdely, the author of the now discredited article,  “gave them no details about the incident she wanted information for when she reached out to the fraternity.”

Brooklyn College’s K.C. Johnson tweets, “Suggestion that the burden was on the frat to disprove Jackie’s tale (rather than on Erdely to prove it) is quite remarkable.” He describes Rolling Stone’s response as an “Amazing [argument]…frat deliberately misled Erdely to make frat seem guilty (even as Erdely didn’t provide them w/details),” adding that their response “portrays frat as somehow involved in the magazine’s editorial process, as if it were shown a draft of Erdely’s article. (It wasn’t.)”

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