Judge Says Rolling Stone's Jackie Must Surrender Documents About Fake Rape

UVA Dean Nicole Eramo is suing the magazine for $7.5 million.


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Lawyers for Nicole Eramo—the University of Virginia dean of students currently suing Rolling Stone for defaming her—prevailed in their quest to compel "Jackie" to submit her correspondence with author Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

Earlier this week, the judge in the case ordered Jackie to surrender all records of her conversations relating to the alleged sexual assault. Specifically, Jackie must provide messages she exchanged with Erdely, Rolling Stone, and UVA. The judge's order also covers correspondence between Jackie and her friends relating to "Haven Monahan," the fictitious person that Jackie claimed was involved in her rape.

Jackie's lawyers attempted to argue that her communications were privileged for a variety of reasons. But U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad rejected their reasoning.

The documents will remain confidential, however, according to The Daily Progress—meaning the press won't get a hold of them unless they are leaked. That's a bummer.

Eramo is suing Rolling Stone and Erdely for defamation. She is seeking $7.5 million.

Andy Phillips, counsel for Eramo, was pleased with the judge's decision.

"Jackie was the primary source for Rolling Stone's false and defamatory article," he wrote in a statement. "It appears that Jackie fabricated the account of the sexual assault portrayed in Rolling Stone, and that Rolling Stone knew she was an unreliable source. We look forward to moving forward with discovery and taking this case to trial."

It's become undeniable that Erdely was fooled—perhaps not for the first time—by a serial fabulist. Jackie had a crush on her friend, Ryan Duffin, and catfished him by pretending to have a fictional boyfriend, "Haven," who sent Duffin text messages revealing Jackie's secret desires. Since Haven does not exist, all available evidence suggests these texts were actually sent by Jackie herself. She also claimed to be suffering from a terminal illness—and that she was the victim of a horrific gang rape orchestrated by Haven. Charlottesville police determined that the assault she described in Erdely's article never took place.

Of course, for Eramo to win her lawsuit she must prove that not only is Jackie a liar, but that Rolling Stone acted with actual malice in choosing to believe her.

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  1. Were journalistic standards always so pitifully low?

    1. Remember the Maine!

      1. Me llamo Fidel Castro.

        1. My spanish is rusty, lets see if I got that.

          Your Male llama is Fidel Castro.

          1. Tengo herpes para tu. Mucho herpes.

            1. Perhaps you shouldn’t be doing things like that with your parrot then.

  2. So, no mention of Jackie’s last name?

    1. Eh, I’d be more satisfied with a picture. Jackie is her actual first name. A picture would actually make her identifiable, while a last name can easily be changed or forgotten.

        1. I would hit it… wait, too soon?

          1. She’s very cute. She was probably used to getting her way and this guy brushing her off made her go psycho.

            1. I really expected her to be unattractive. But she looks like she could have pretty much any guy she wanted. That makes all of this just that much more crazy.

              1. I really expected her to be unattractive.

                It looks like someone forgot the hot/crazy chart.

            2. No it’s just the angle. She’s a bigger girl. Probably John’s type.

            3. Since that photo, she has gained weight, and married some fool.

          2. Never stick your dick in crazy

        2. Is this conformed to be her?

    2. My first thought as well.

      Why won’t you us her full name, Robbie?

      1. Ryan Duffin probably wonders the same thing.

        1. I wonder if Ryan realizes what a huge bullet he dodged. That break-up would have been bad.

          1. It could have been UVA’s version of Mattress Girl.

      2. What do you expect? Robby doesn’t even have a masters degree in journalism from Columbia.

        1. Which is why he hasn’t been invited to write for those high brow, respectable online publications such as Jezebel!

      3. We all know the answer to that, RC. She’s still got a lot of victim cred, and may be actually mentally ill.

    3. If I don’t get a hat-tip, then neither does she!

      1. If I don’t get a hat-tip, then neither does she!

        But just the tip…right?

  3. Eramo’s case is kind of weak as there were not that many specific claims about her behavior, just inferences. But on the other hand the fraternity and its members should have shot at owning Rolling Stone lock, stock, and barrel.

  4. Malice? Against a white fraternity? By Rolling Stone?

    Impossible. They were just reporting this totally-not-agenda-driven story.

  5. Jaqueline Coakley

    Everyone else in the story is treated as an adult human.

    Is she so devoid of moral agency that she has lost her full name? Or is she such a celebrity that “Jackie” is enough?

    1. She’s a celebrated degenerate.

    2. I had no idea Jackie had been doxxed. I predict “breakdown” and hospitalization.

      That is one disturbed lady. Still…

      1. I’m certain she has a dedicated support group regardless of her actual victim status.

        1. Plus many who do not follow the “do not stick it in crazy” rule.

          1. Even if she brings a few of her female friends.

  6. Good that you’re keeping track of this.

    The bummer, yes, it would’ve been interesting. There are arguments in favor of confidentiality. Yet the names of men accused of rape are generally declared. Note, by the way, that this depends on the “serial rapist theory”: The men’s names are made public, so that other victims can come forward. That – public shaming, informal punishment, punitive ad preventive -is a reason to adhere to this theory, despite evidence that undermines it.

  7. It’s become undeniable that Erdely was fooled?perhaps not for the first time?by a serial fabulist.

    You can’t fool the willing, Robby.

    Erdely found exactly the story she went looking for. Curious how that kept working out for her.

    Personally, I blame the collapse of the short fiction market. If Erdely could have made a living churning out fiction featuring violent rape fantasies and moral fables about ghetto fabulous dealers with limos full of weed, she wouldn’t have had to pass them off as journalism.

    1. It’s capitalism’s fault.

    2. Look, this isn’t a forum to advertise your new short story collection, ok?

      1. Posting the actual stories isn’t really advertising them, ok?

      2. I shill far less than the actual contributors.

        When Elizabeth publishes her autbio: I Heard It On The Rapevine: MY Five Years With The Worst People On Earth that is all we will be hearing about.

        1. She’s mingled with the commentariat for five years?

          1. I didn’t say it was coming out right now. But few of them last longer than that.

        2. So…um, is their an Amazon pre-order for that?

            1. *slowly puts down phone without calling Grammar Police*

              1. Do not wake Nikki up this early. Shit will get ugly fast.

                1. She’s busy right now: interracial porn and all that entails.

                  1. I read that as “and all the entrails.”

                2. Nikki cannot be called. She is summoned with eldritch rites.

    3. Sabrina Rubin Erdely missed her calling, for sure. Lawyering via civil suit for an imaginary rape – just need to depict a discriminatory ‘culture’ sufficiently compelling, throw as much quasi evidence against the wall and whatever sticks to it might be enough to win. Creating a depiction a ‘rape culture’ by presenting just a select number of culture-of-accusation enthusiasts who are associated with the institution, and you’re one quarter of the way there. A prof I know at UV told me that Erdley had carefully added details like how blonde all the frat bros are, to ephasize their whiteness or gentileness or something, and of course she never actually interviewed any of the supposed rapists. Had Rubin Erdley done that to, say the Asian House, or African American Gibbons House on the UV campus, and she would lose her progressive cred.

      Now people refer to UV as a ‘rape campus’, without knowing the names of a single rapist or rape victim. Another triumph.

  8. It’s become undeniable that Erdely was fooled?perhaps not for the first time?by a serial fabulist.

    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, sue my shameful ass.”

  9. Jackie Must Surrender Documents About Fake Rape

    “Jackie Surrenders Fake Documents”

    1. She can just imagine them. They’re imaginary documents.

      1. Imaginary and complex.

        1. Nah, pure imaginary, complex implies some distance along the real number line. Although it could be negative.

      2. No they aren’t, but she kept them on Lois Lerner’s hard drive.

  10. What are the chances that these documents won’t get leaked? 0%? Less than that?

  11. Nice longhorn steer cloud photo (albeit without alt-text).

  12. In terms of “actual malice”, what does that really mean? Obviously nobody at Rolling Stone gives a crap about some random bureaucrat at UVA. So it wasn’t malice directed specifically at her. But they certainly had an agenda to show that school administrations are hostile toward rape victims and were intent on showing that fact in their story – to the extent that they were going to do a story that showed an administration being hostile toward rape victims even if they couldn’t actually find an administration being hostile toward rape victims.

    That almost sounds like the classic “I’m not going to hit you, I’m just swinging my fists like this! And if you happen to get in the way, that’s your problem” excuse.

    1. If it quacks like malice…

    2. That means A) Jury Question and B) intent inferred from circumstances. Examples of provable malice inferred from evidence: emails saying something akin to “just run it anyway,” Erdely communicating knowledge of falsity to Rolling Stone before publishing, etc.

  13. I can’t wait for the barrage of ‘that one weird thing that turned out to be a lie’ doesnt mean we don’t have a real rape culture! It’s totally real!

    I know there is some of that already but after these documents get leaked there will be a deluge. Slate, Salon, Vox, Jezebel…all of them will be in competition for the most sensational bullshit.

    1. Variant of victim-blaming. From their standpoint, the victims of this are future rape victims (whose stories are less likely to be believed). The actual/now victims of slander (and worse) were just asking for it anyway.

      1. A variation on the law-and-order type’s response to police brutality or false convictions. “Well, he was a scumbag and he had it coming!” “If he wasn’t guilty of this, he did plenty of other stuff just as bad, or worse!”


  14. Does anybody think the cloud in that picture looks like a bull?

    1. Rich missed the alt-text. I think you did too.

      (the bull is the alt-text)

      Nice work Robbie.

      1. *** coffee kicks in ***


  15. Methinks Erdely needs to find new employment.

  16. For what it’s worth I’m doing my own h/t on this. I not only posted it to the California/Trains thread yesterday, but emailed it in to Soave at 1:15 PM (EST) yesterday. But that’s OK, Robbie. [weeps bitterly]

  17. Hopefully Erdley and Coakley are nailed to the wall for this, and very publicly so. That they are walking the streets freely disgusts me. I hope they are scorned literally everywhere they show their Goddamn faces.

    They unleashed the hounds on a several innocent people because they had an axe to grind. As I’ve related (to nauseum now), I was on the receiving end of a rape witch hunt, and its extremly…..disturbing? unsettling? to feel like your whole life is over and justice matters not. You matter not.

    1. Sorry about your personal experience. I share your hopes, and also hope that outcome will give you some closure or comfort. Hopefully, this will dial back the insanity and make things less scary for other college-age males.

    2. You used the word “nailed”! OMG! Rape culture! Male entitlement!!!!!

      And you called them streetwalkers!1 Slut shaming shitlord!!!

    3. You used the word “nailed”! OMG! Rape culture! Male entitlement!!!!!

      And you called them streetwalkers!1 Slut shaming shitlord!!!

    4. You used the word “nailed”! OMG! Rape culture! Male entitlement!!!!!

      And you called them streetwalkers!1 Slut shaming shitlord!!!

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  18. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
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  19. The “actual malice” standard is confusing. It really includes both what most people think of as malice, and gross recklessness, but not gross negligence.

    To win a libel case, public officials or public figures must show that the defendants acted with “actual malice,” a confusing term that means “knowledge that the statement was false, or knowledge that it was likely false coupled with a conscious disregard of that risk.” What’s more, the public officials or public figures must show actual malice by “clear and convincing evidence.”

    I’m not an expert on this, but the formula I have seen is actual malice or reckless disregard. Either way, the law doesn’t require that the plaintiff prove the defendant knew for a fact the statement was false, and published it with the specific intent of doing harm. Its a tough standard, but not as tough as you might think just from the term “actual malice”.

  20. “Of course, for Eramo to win her lawsuit she must prove that not only is Jackie a liar, but that Rolling Stone acted with actual malice in choosing to believe her.”

    Malice, no, not Rolling Stone. Erdely maybe, Lhamon no question.

    Given that none other than Catherine E. “Dear Colleage” Lhamon was involved in putting Erdely in touch with Jackie for the explicit purpose of writing a scathing story of rape on a college campus. I think its safe to say that Lhamon was seeking to destroy a college and some college aged men.

    That said, I doubt malice is the only standard in a defamation case. Being a self-serving asshole can also cause defamation of another.

    1. If a public official or a “public figure” sues for defamation, they need to show the defendant either knew what it was saying was false, or else it acted with reckless disregard for the truth. Either of these things is called “actual malice,” with the word “actual” being intended to suggest that this is more than just regular malice.

      1. Is she suing as a public official, I was under the impression that the suit centered around her being personally defamed and that UVA and the fraternity had separate suits.

  21. I think I’m going to get some popcorn before the show starts.

    1. Dude, where’ve you been all this time?

      1. Canada.

        1. There’s this chick, I think her name is Jackie or something, anyway, she’s pretty hot, she’s been asking about you.

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  23. The most interesting element to me is that so many privileged young women absolutely demand that something called ‘rape culture’ exists, and that it be referred to that way.

    It’s like one big effort to catfish into existence an ongoing crime against humanity of mass but supersecret raping . Lucky for them, Jared Polis, Ethan Klein et al have their backs (and will happily put a knee into the bacs of any young man, no matter how guiltless.)

    I suspect young Jackie is better off without any guy around, even imaginary boys like ‘Haven Monahan’, who seems like a bad apple (and his voice seems to be the same as Rachel Dratch), see : http://tinyurl.com/j7ee5fb

    1. Ethan Klein? Are you sure you don’t mean Ezra Klein?

      1. yikes, you are right, of course I meant Ezra…apologies to anyone named Ethan Klein.
        Are you really named Akira/Japanese? (am Korean, was hoping there were more of our kind reading Reason) \_(“~)_/

  24. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
    Clik This Link inYour Browser.
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  25. Ok those just went up in flames.

  26. Sure, it’s ok for a “reporter” to defame someone knowingly. But dare not reveal factual information about Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal organs or you will be sentenced to 20 years in prison. — Big Brother.

    1. Did the fetal organs do anyone any good?

  27. The campus activists who believe women never lie will accuse the judge of setting “Jackie” up to be raped a second time.

    I sincerely believe it all could have been so very different — so much better — between men and women. Maybe there’s still hope. See:

    “The Sexual Harassment Quagmire: How To Dig Out” http://malemattersusa.wordpres…..-quagmire/

    This may be the deepest analysis you can find of what I think is the sexes’ most alienating and destructive behavioral difference. I believe this difference creates much of what is called sexual assault of women.

  28. Why does Jackie Coakley deserve anonymity from Reason? I’m not aware of any other case where Reason would withhold the name of a person involved in a defamation lawsuit.

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