It’s been over a year since Rolling Stone’s big story on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia was exposed as a hoax, but the public has long lacked specific details about how UVA student Jackie Coakley concocted her wildly false story.
Now, that’s no longer the case. Text messages have finally been released showing Coakley’s fictional “Haven Monahan” personality trying to catfish her crush Ryan Duffin.
The text messages have been released as part of an ongoing $7.5 million defamation lawsuit brought by UVA Dean Nicole Eramo against Rolling Stone. In January, Eramo’s lawyers successfully forced Coakley to turn over text messages, emails and other communications pertaining to the case. The communications were supposed to be confidential, but now at least some of them have come into the possession of Virginia news outlet WTVR News.
Now, WTVR has released almost 50 pages of text messages showing correspondence between Coakley and Duffin, as well as a month-long correspondence between Duffin and “Monahan,” who appears to have simply been Coakley all along.
In Coakley’s telling, Monahan was a local boy she was in a relationship with, who then sprung a trap on her at a UVA frat party that resulted in gang rape. But a police investigation was unable to establish that Monahan even existed, and instead “he” appears to have been an invention of Coakley’s, who hoped to use him as a vehicle to win the affections of Duffin.
It is almost impossible to easily summarize the texts, which reveal a positively byzantine effort to trick Duffin. Initially, Duffin pretends to be a girl named “Brianna,” having been told by Coakley to correspond with Monahan to find out if he liked her. Duffin consistently funnels information about Monahan to Jackie, who in turn acts as though she is disturbed and put off by Monahan’s romantic interest.
When Duffin eventually drops the charade and reveals that he is a male student, Monahan acts furious and tries to tell Duffin to stop being friends with Coakley, presumably in a ploy to push them closer together:
Monahan: “Wat the fuck who the fuck are you? Wat the fck does she see in you. You fucken preten to be a fucken girl.
Monahan: You fucked this up for me. Just fucken stay out of her life so she can get the fuck over you and move onto me.
Duffin: And it’s coming off as creepy. It won’t work. And we’re still friends, and she’s moving on. But it won’t be to you if you keep acting the way you do towards her. You act like you’re entitled to her.
Monahan: No you cant be friends with her fuck off leave her the fuck alone.
The situation only becomes more surreal from there:
- At one point, Monahan claims that Coakley suffers from lupus and is frequently hospitalized, which is how he claimed to have met her. He suggests she could die soon, and that in her will she “left all her stuff to kids in Honduras.”
- Monahan repeatedly refers to Coakley having an interest in Duffin, warning that he will “break her heart.”
- Monahan claims he has spent over $300 on flowers and chocolates for Coakley, even though she is supposedly not interested in her.
- Monahan has a small meltdown after saying he hasn’t been able to find Coakley for several days, and says he is about to call the police, a course of action Duffin discourages.
- Following Sept. 28, the day Coakley told Rolling Stone she was raped at Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, Monahan starts making allusions to some incident with Coakley, where”she promised she wouldnt report anythin if I didn’t talk about her or to her.” Combined with texts between Coakley and Duffin that discuss some unclear horrible event of a sexual nature the night of the 28th, showing that Coakley was developing her alleged rape narrative from the beginning.
- Eventually, Duffin becomes suspicious and insists he wants to speak with Monahan verbally instead of exchanging texts. This causes a hostile reaction from Monahan, and the conversation ends shortly after.
Duffin remains surprisingly composed throughout the exchanges, refusing to blow up at Monahan despite repeated provocations to do so. Monahan, meanwhile, displays stalker-like behavior and makes heavy use of almost every brand of profanity.
Along with the bizarre Haven Monahan text messages, WTVR also released text messages between Duffin and Coakley following the release of Rolling Stone’s article. Initially, Duffin praises Coakley for having the bravery to come forward, and apologized that he “never realized the magnitude” of Jackie’s alleged rape, which he appears to believe actually happened.
But several days later, once a Washington Post story had poked massive holes in Coakley’s story, Duffin turns more hostile.
“So if I can just ask a question, then … Why did you tell us before the date ever happened that his name was Haven?,” Duffin asks. “Haven Monahan? A name that belongs to no UVA student ever? Why has the name changed since then?”
Minutes later, Duffin says that because of legal concerns, it would be best if he stopped talking with Coakley. No further messages are exchanged between the two.
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