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.