A U.S. judge has ordered a central figure in a debunked Rolling Stone magazine article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia to answer questions in a defamation lawsuit, court papers showed. In a two-page ruling on Monday, Virginia-based Chief U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad ordered the woman, who is identified in court papers for the case as “Jackie,” to participate in a deposition on Thursday.
The Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” published in 2014 described a gang rape of a University of Virginia first-year student identified by her first name of Jackie, allegedly during a party at a fraternity.
The article caused an uproar over the issue of campus sexual assault, but Rolling Stone retracted the story after discrepancies surfaced. The magazine later commissioned a review by Columbia University that criticized the publication for reporting and editing lapses.
In the latest development, Judge Conrad ordered Jackie to be deposed in a federal defamation lawsuit filed against Rolling Stone by a University of Virginia administrator.
Nicole Eramo, an associate dean of students who had met and counseled Jackie, stated in her lawsuit that she was falsely depicted in Rolling Stone as a villain who showed indifference to Jackie’s allegations that she had been raped.
Charlottesville police last year said an investigation was unable to corroborate the magazine’s story of the assault on Jackie. In the deposition scheduled for Thursday, the judge has asked Jackie to respond to questions from attorneys for both Eramo and for Rolling Stone.