Rolling Stone Reaches Settlement in Defamation Case

The legal saga over Rolling Stone’s discredited 2014 story about an alleged gang rape on the University of Virginia campus has come to a close with a confidential settlement. No details were released on the deal reached with former University of Virginia associate dean Nicole Eramo, who sued the magazine for defamation over the story. The magazine on Tuesday called the settlement an “amicable resolution.” Libby Locke, a lawyer for Eramo, also expressed satisfaction with the agreement. “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,” Locke said in a statement. Eramo said she received threats and suffered damage to her professional reputation after the article’s publication in November 2014, with her lawyers arguing in the lawsuit that she was “collateral damage in a quest for sensational journalism.”

The story, titled “A Rape on Campus,” was initially met with shock over the tale of a female student gang raped at a fraternity party on campus. But subsequent investigations soon discredited the story’s main source and the magazine retracted the article under a hail of criticism. Eramo was awarded $3 million in damages by a federal jury last November, with Rolling Stone to pay out $1 million and the story’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, to pay $2 million. Rolling Stone filed a motion to vacate the judgement, however, before ultimately offering to settle.