(Corrects paragraph 4 to say the jury "found" the magazine and
author "liable" for actual malice, instead of "ruled" they were
"guilty" of actual malice.)
April 12 Rolling Stone magazine and the
administrator at the University of Virginia have reached an
agreement which ends a defamation case over the publication's
retracted story about an alleged gang rape at the school, court
documents filed on Tuesday showed.
Rolling Stone has been appealing a $3 million defamation
verdict a Virginia federal court jury awarded in November to
university administrator Nicole Eramo after it found the
magazine and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely had defamed her.
"We are delighted that this dispute is now behind us, as it
allows Nicole to move on and focus on doing what she does best,
which is supporting victims of sexual assault,” Libby Locke, one
of her lawyers, said in a statement provided to the New York
Court documents showed Eramo dropped the case on Tuesday,
five months after the jury found that the magazine and author
were liable for actual malice, a key element in libel law, in
six statements in the November 2014 story "A Rape on Campus."
The article played a key role in sparking a national debate
about sexual assault on university campuses. While the article
was discredited as depicting an assault that never occurred,
campus sexual assault remains a major concern, with some reports
estimating that one in five female students will be a victim
during their college years.
The magazine has argued in court papers that there was no
evidence that Erdely acted with actual malice in the story and
that the jury erred in finding that the story had been
The magazine's story said that a female student identified
only as "Jackie" was gang raped at a university fraternity.
Rolling Stone retracted the story and a police investigation
found no evidence to support Jackie's claims.
Eramo accused the magazine of portraying her as the story's
villain and as being focused on hushing up sexual assault
"Rolling Stone, Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Nicole Eramo have
come to an amicable resolution. The terms are confidential," a
spokeswoman for Wenner Media, the parent company of Rolling
Stone, told the Times.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Toby