Rolling Stone settled its defamation lawsuit with University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity for a whopping $1.65 million. The defamation lawsuit was over a story titled “A Rape On Campus” that was published in 2014 but then later retracted. The piece was written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely and discussed the alleged experience of an anonymous student “Jackie” and how she was supposedly gang-raped at a party at Phi Kappa Psi.
Once the story was published, it created waves. The details were truly horrifying. The story received so much attention that the police began their own investigation. This is when Jackie’s tale of events began to crumble. Key parts and facts of Erdely’s and Jackie’s stories didn’t add up. The story was officially retracted in April 2015.
November 2016 is when the jury found Rolling Stone and Erdely liable for defamation. Now, almost seven months, later the magazine is settling with the fraternity for a pretty penny. Originally the fraternity wanted $25 million but will ultimately receive $1.65 million. Phi Kappa Psi released a statement after the settlement was reached stating, “It has been nearly three years since we, and the entire University of Virginia community, were shocked by the now infamous article, and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath.”
The fraternity also said that they will be donating a large portion of their settlement to organizations that bring awareness to sexual assault, prevention training and survivor’s counseling.