Rolling Stone says its trust in source for UVA story 'was misplaced'

Rolling Stone | The Washington Post

Rolling Stone says "there now appear to be discrepancies" in the account of a rape at the center of its blockbuster story about rapes at the University of Virginia.

The magazine has "come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced," Managing Editor Will Dana writes. "We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account."

[caption id="attachment_306291" align="alignleft" width="460"]Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house  at the University of Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)[/caption]

The piece's author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not contact the men that main character Jackie said raped her. "I’m satisfied that these guys exist and are real," Sean Woods, who edited the story, told Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi. "We knew who they were.”

A spokesperson for Rolling Stone says Woods will remain with the magazine.

T. Rees Shapiro reports that the fraternity where Jackie said the rape happened did not host a party on the night in question. The Post also rereported Jackie's claims, and says she "revealed to friends for the first time the full name of her alleged attacker, a name she had never disclosed to anyone." Shapiro continues:

But after looking into that person’s background, the group that had been among her closest supporters quickly began to raise suspicions about her account. The friends determined that the student that Jackie had named was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and that other details about his background did not match up with information Jackie had disclosed earlier about her perpetrator.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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