Rolling Stone, fraternity agree to settle rape story lawsuit

Rolling Stone, fraternity agree to settle rape story lawsuit

Rolling Stone will settle a case brought by a University of Virginia fraternity over a discredited story the magazine published that alleged a female student was raped by its members.

UVA's Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi released a statement on Tuesday that it is "pleased to be able to close the book" on the "ordeal" stemming from the Rolling Stone article.

A spokesman for the fraternity, Brian Ellis, said that the case filed in state court in Charlottesville is expected to be settled for $1.65 million.

The story, which was later retracted, centered around "Jackie", a young woman who was allegedly gang-raped at the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house weeks into her first year at school. The fraternity initially asked for $25 million in damages. Amid a national resurgence of interest in campus sexual assault cases, the Rolling Stone story drew widespread attention nearly instantly for its raw portrayal of fraternity culture run amok.

The settlement closes the final chapter of a lengthy legal saga.

Rolling Stone magazine is still paying a steep price for its shoddy reporting about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.

Erdely's article was both praised for raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses and how administrators handle it and questioned for multiple issues immediately upon its publication in November 2014, leading to the story's retraction several months later after police found no evidence of the claims made in the story.

The fraternity claimed that the magazine knew that Jackie was not a reliable source and ignored red flags indicating that her story was flawed. The reporter did not verify the existence of the alleged ringleader of Jackie's attack or contact others who could have debunked the story.

In April, the university's Associate Dean Nicole Eramo reached a $3 million settlement with the magazine - $2 million from writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely and $1 million from Rolling Stone.

Another lawsuit that involved three former fraternity members was also dismissed in 2016, The Associated Press reported.

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