Rolling Stone defamation case rolling along
Jackie Coakley, the UVA student at the center of Rolling Stone’s bogus gang rape story from 2014, is going to be forced to turn over her email and phone records as part of an ongoing lawsuit despite efforts to withhold the documents.
Rolling Stone is being sued by Nicole Eramo, a UVA associate dean who says the magazine defamed her by casting her as one of the story’s chief villains. Eramo is seeking $7.5 million in damages.
As part of the lawsuit, Eramo’s lawyers have sought to make Coakley turn over her personal communications, alleging that Coakley is a “serial liar” whom Rolling Stone should not have trusted.
Coakley’s attorney, Palma Pustiknik, claimed in a recent court filing pertaining to that her “privacy and dignity” would be violated and that she would also be subjected to “extreme harm” if the records are provided.
A federal judge disagreed and said Tuesday that Coakley will have to turn over documents related to the retracted article.
The Rolling Stone’s article “A Rape on Campus” reported the now-debunked tale of “Jackie,” a UVA student who was allegedly attacked and gang-raped as part of an initiation ritual at Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Jackie, now identified as Jackie Coakley, claimed that her quest for justice was blocked by indifferent and skeptical administrators. The author of story is Sabrina Erdely, who is also named in the suit.
The Washington Post tore apart Coakley’s story by interviewing those involved. After extensive research and investigations, it was determined that Coakley had fabricated the story, possibly as part of a bizarre “cat fishing” scheme intended to win romantic attention from a male student.
Eramo’s lawsuit is one of three filed over the story.
Image: Flickr/Phil Roeder