Recall a little over a year ago, when Rolling Stone published a terrible, accusatory, and slanderous article detailing the gang rape of “Jackie” by members of Phi Kappa Psi — which turned out shortly after its release to be entirely false. Journalists began pointing out holes in the story, Charlottesville police found no evidence of the attack described, and the Rolling Stone eventually retracted the article.
Many people were hurt by the falsehoods spread, and many reputations tarnished — the university, the fraternity, and none worse than the boys falsely identified as the rapists. While the Rolling Stone piece itself did not directly name any alleged “attackers,” it was easy to deduce some potential names with the fraternity name, information about the graduating class, and some other descriptions. And some men were (wrongly) identified online, and became the subjects of horrific scrutiny they did not deserve.
Along with the school and the fraternity, suing for $7.8 million and $25 million respectively, the boys are suing Rolling Stone, who is asking the case “be dismissed,” according to NBC.
The magazine’s attorneys argued in court documents that the article, titled “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” didn’t identify anyone portrayed in the alleged assault by name or describe them physically, and that they can’t claim to have been identified just by their affiliation with the frat.
“No reasonable reader would understand from the Image via Shutterstockarticle and the proffered extrinsic evidence that plaintiffs are identified as the perpetrators,” the attorneys wrote.
But people did deduce they were the perpetrators, and the boys were “humiliated and mocked” after their names were released in multiple online forums, and they fear their names “will forever be associated with the alleged gang rape.”
Fuck off, Rolling Stone..
Image via Shutterstock