Eric Cantor’s son is a member of the University of Virginia fraternity at the center of serious accusations involving a 2012 gang rape.
The former House majority leader’s son, Michael “Mikey” Cantor, was a freshman at the University of Virginia in Sept. 2012 when a woman named Jackie claims that she was gang-raped by seven members of Phi Kappa Psi at a fraternity party — including one that was apparently pledging the fraternity.
Jackie’s accusations are the focus of a bombshell Rolling Stone article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely and published last month.
Cantor has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and it is unclear whether he was a member of the fraternity when the alleged attack took place. The school’s fraternity rush period for undergraduates occurs in the spring semester while transfers and second- and third-year students can rush during the fall.
The Daily Caller sent Cantor a request for comment to find out if — as the son of a high-profile politician — he knew anything about the accusations against his fraternity. He has not responded.
Rolling Stone did not report any fraternity members’ actual names. The school and Charlottesville police are investigating.
Though the Rolling Stone article generated massive outrage upon its release, a number of media outlets — including the Washington Post and Reason — have recently called some of Jackie’s claims and Erdely’s reporting methods into question.
If Jackie’s story turns out to be false or inaccurate, it would be another example of a college rape hoax along the lines of one involving the Duke lacrosse team in 2006. But if Jackie’s story turns out to be true, Cantor’s association with the fraternity would raise further questions over why a thorough investigation was not carried out, which is a claim Erdely made in her article.
Cantor is currently listed as a member, and his older brother, Evan, who graduated in 2012, was also a member. Eric Cantor, a Virginian who was one of the most powerful politicians in the House of Representatives until he lost his re-election bid this summer, now works at the investment firm Moelis & Company.
According to Erdely’s Rolling Stone piece, Jackie alleged that a fraternity member named “Drew,” who she worked with as a lifeguard at the school’s swimming pool, took her to a party at the fraternity house just weeks into the 2012 fall semester. “Drew,” who Jackie said was a junior at the school, led her to a darkened room where several members of the fraternity were waiting, Jackie told Erdely.
Jackie said she was beaten. A glass table was shattered, and Jackie said she was raped on top of shards of glass. “Drew” and another fraternity member looked on and provided direction as the rape occurred. One of the attackers allegedly said “grab its motherfucking leg,” in reference to Jackie.
After she left the fraternity house, while the party was still raging at 3 a.m., Jackie said she called her friends who told her not to report the attack.
Erdely said that Jackie did not want the fraternity members named in the article because she was fearful of them, especially “Drew.”
Jackie’s allegations caused UVA president Teresa Sullivan to suspended all fraternity activity until January while an investigation is underway. The Phi Kappa Psi chapter voluntarily suspended all fraternity activities as well.
The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi raised questions of his own in two recent articles.
In one, Farhi reported that Erdely did not contact the alleged attackers, a failure that has caused some concern among media watchers. Erdely also did not say whether she even knew their names.
“I can’t answer that,” Erdely told Farhi. “This was a topic that made Jackie extremely uncomfortable.”
“I reached out to [the accused] in multiple ways,” Erdely said in an interview with Slate. “They were kind of hard to get in touch with because [the fraternity’s] contact page was pretty outdated. But I wound up speaking…I wound up getting in touch with their local president, who sent me an e-mail, and then I talked with their sort of, their national guy, who’s kind of their national crisis manager. They were both helpful in their own way, I guess.”
“We did not talk to them,” Rolling Stone editor Sean Woods told Farhi. “We could not reach them.”
“We verified their existence,” Woods said, adding, “I’m satisfied that these guys exist and are real. We knew who they were.”
Neither Woods nor Erdely made it clear how they reached out to the fraternity members.
The Daily Caller was able to find at least 20 active members of the fraternity. None responded to requests for comment sent through email.
In addition to reaching out to the younger Cantor via email, a message sent to Moelis & Co.’s press office seeking contact information for Eric Cantor was not returned.
Officials at the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi did not return requests for comment.
Alex Olsen contributed to this report.