‘Rolling Stone’ magazine to face defamation lawsuit over rape story

Magazine published the since-retracted article by author Sabrina Erdely in 2014

Rolling Stone magazine has been told it must face a defamation lawsuit over its story about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.

The publication – which was put up for sale earlier this week – printed the since-retracted article by author Sabrina Erdely in 2014. The story, titled ‘A Rape on Campus’, investigated the alleged gang rape of a student identified as “Jackie”. However, the claims were later found to be unsupported by evidence.

Rolling Stone has faced several lawsuits as a result of the discredited article, settling for $1.65 million at trial a case brought forward by University of Virginia associate dean Nicole Eramo.

After other lawsuits were dismissed, it has now been reported that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals finds that the lower court “prematurely rejected” claims from George Elias and Ross Fowler, while also finding ground for a group defamation claim. Members of University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi had previously had a lawsuit dismissed in June 2016.

Rolling Stone magazine

Rolling Stone magazine

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone magazine is up for sale, as its publisher announces that it is seeking a buyer for its controlling stake in the long-running music publication.

Publisher Wenner Media has said it is exploring “strategic options” in an effort “to best position the brand for future growth”. Found Jann Wenner said: “I love my job, I enjoy it, I’ve enjoyed it for a long time,” describing the business move as “just the smart thing to do.”