Fraternity To Sue Rolling Stone Over “Reckless” Gang-Rape Article


The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi is suing Rolling Stone, calling the magazine's reporting that described an alleged gang-rape by some of its members “reckless,” the Washington Post reports. The suit comes a day after Rolling Stone editors retracted a November 19 story, “A Rape on Campus,” that portrayed the chilling account of brutal sexual assault allegedly occurring in the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. A Columbia University report described significant lapses by the magazine's staff while reporting the gang-rape allegations and the story's writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and the publication's managing editor, Will Dana, apologized for the deeply flawed account. The fraternity noted that Erdely did not apologize to the Phi Psi chapter at UVA.

“The report by Columbia University's School of Journalism demonstrates the reckless nature in which Rolling Stone researched and failed to verify facts in its article that erroneously accused Phi Kappa Psi of crimes its members did not commit,” said Stephen Scipione, chapter president. “This type of reporting serves as a sad example of a serious decline of journalistic standards.” The chapter spent “130 days of living under a cloud of suspicion as a result of reckless reporting by Rolling Stone Magazine,” according to Phi Psi. The chapter is considering expanding its lawsuit to include Erdely. A spokesman said there are no plans currently to pursue legal action against Jackie, the student who alleged in Rolling Stone that she was gang-raped during a party at the Phi Psi house near campus.

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