A federal judge has ordered Rolling Stone and its disgraced writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, to cough up $3 million in damages after a jury found the magazine — and the writer — liable for defaming University of Virginia dean Nicole P. Eramo in an article about a bogus gang rape on campus.
The judge entered the damages verdict on Monday, based on a jury determination, reports The New York Times.
Eramo sued Rolling Stone in 2015 over her portrayal in the infamous Erdely article “A Rape on Campus,” which recounted fabulist allegations by student Jackie Coakley, then enrolled at the University of Virginia, that Coakley had been gang-raped by seven men while attending a fraternity party.
The November 2014 article provoked an immense wave of outrage, but follow-up reporting by The Washington Post and other outlets soon found huge holes in Coakley’s story. Eventually, it was revealed that Coakley hadn’t been raped at all, and had apparently invented her story as part of a convoluted scheme to win the affections of a male student she had a crush on. (RELATED: Here Are EIGHT Campus Rape Hoaxes Eerily Like The UVA Rape Story)
A Charlottesville, Virginia jury — eight women, two men — found Rolling Stone and Erdely guilty on six claims of defamation on Friday. The trial lasted two weeks. (RELATED: Rolling Stone DEFEATED In UVA Jackie Lawsuit, Possibly Liable For $7.5 Million)
On Monday, after two additional hours of deliberation, that same jury determined that Erdely is liable to Eramo for $2 million. Wenner Media, Rolling Stone’s parent company, is liable for $1 million, the jury said.
In addition to repeating Coakley’s false claims, Rolling Stone’s article portrayed Eramo in an extremely negative manner, accusing her of taking a callous attitude toward rape victims because she was more concerned with preserving UVA’s reputation.
Coakley alleged that Eramo had attempted to protect the university’s interests instead of helping her. Erdely reported that Eramo had told Jackie: “Nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.”
The magazine even edited a photo of Eramo to make her appear more sinister.
The jury unanimously concluded that these actions amounted actual malice — a very high legal standard.
Erdely’s bombshell article falsely accused seven Phi Kappa Psi members of brutally gang-raping a Coakley in September 2012. (RELATED: Your Rape: Is It Clickbait? Does It Pop?)
In April 2015, Rolling Stone retracted its fraudulent article. The progressive magazine also apologized to members of Phi Psi. (RELATED: Rolling Stone Officially Retracts Its Report On UVA Rape Hoax, Reporter Apologizes)
A new article by three members of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism appeared in place of the hoax Erdely reported. The new piece is nothing short of a scathing indictment of Erdely, “Jackie” and Rolling Stone. It vindicates Phi Psi without limitation. It demonstrates that Erdely is a terrible failure of a journalist. (RELATED: We Have 11 Job Ideas For The Disgraced Journalist Behind The UVA Rape Story)
Additionally, the Charlottesville, Va. police found “no evidence” that any rape occurred at the Phi Psi frat house.
Erdely expressed remorse for writing her wildly implausible, 9,000-word, agenda-driven excuse for journalism concerning the UVA rape hoax in a letter timed to coincide with the release of the Rolling Stone report. She apologized to Rolling Stone readers, editors, the UVA community and “any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.”
In a statement in open court on Monday, Eramo said she remains appalled at the behavior of Rolling Stone and Ederly.
“It took two years and all this to get an apology,” Eramo said, according to the Times. “And I still don’t believe it is a real apology. The regret I see is that they’re in the position they’re in today.”
Rolling Stone and Erdely will have the chance to appeal the verdict, and may also try to settle for a lesser amount before its appeals are exhausted.
Notably, Erdely has not apologized to Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the case.
Rape and sexual assault have been in the campus spotlight in recent years, ever since the Obama administration’s Department of Education created a complex new policy dictating how American colleges and universities must respond to allegation of sexual violence. The policy depends very heavily — at times exclusively — on Title IX, a comprehensive 1972 federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. (RELATED: The Obama Administration Is Gripped By Radical Feminists Who Despise Due Process)
Erdely’s career rapidly disintegrated as it became increasingly evident that no rape occurred. (RELATED:Disgraced Journalist Behind UVA Rape Story Sanctimoniously Criticized FALSE REPORTING)
Her smug Twitter stream abruptly ceased producing new tweets on Nov. 30, 2014 with this self-congratulatory gem: