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News Worms


Rolling Stone settles defamation case with UVa administrator

Rolling Stone settles defamation case with UVa administrator

The Washington Post reports (http://wapo.st/2p3mpRs ) the magazine reached the confidential settlement with former associate dean Nicole Eramo who had sued Rolling Stone over a 2014 article, "A Rape on Campus". Locke says Eramo can move on and focus on supporting victims of sexual assault.

The magazine's story said that a female student identified only as "Jackie" was gang raped at a university fraternity.

A separate lawsuit by a fraternity is still moving through the courts.

Rolling Stone called the settlement an "amicable resolution" and tells NBC29, "Rolling Stone, Sabrina Rubin Erdely¸ and Nicole Eramo have come to an amicable resolution". Rolling Stone asked the judge in December to overturn the jury's decision, arguing that there is no evidence reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely acted with actual malice. Eramo also claimed that Erdely defamed her when she said on a radio program days after the story was published that the university's 'administration doesn't really treat rape as a crime'.

"That's the troubling thing about the settlement, is that it doesn't give an appellate court a chance to wipe out that precedent", said George Freeman, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center and a former attorney for The New York Times.

In court papers challenging the verdict late previous year, lawyers for Rolling Stone, Wenner Media, and Erdely contested the "actual malice" finding, and argued the Eramo failed to show that she was actually harmed by the sections of the article at issue, as well as comments that Erdely made about the article after it was published.

Following a police investigation and a probe by Columbia University School of Journalism, Rolling Stone retracted the article. Rolling Stone's subpoenas seeking information from all 99 chapters was "absolutely invasive" and "absolutely unnecessary", said attorney Dirk McClanahan.

A representative for Wenner Media did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.

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