"Jackie," the pseudonymous college student featured in the now-debunked Rolling Stone article "A Rape on Campus" spoke in a video testimony in the magazine's defamation trial Monday morning. Jackie testified that she had been confused as to when she was on the record when speaking with journalist Sabrina Erdely, the article's author. “I was under the impression that they were not going to be published. I was naïve," Jackie testified. She said Erdely pressured her to participate in the article.
“I remember her telling me there was no way for me to pull out at that point,” Jackie said. “I remember feeling scared and overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. I felt like I was getting a lot of pressure from a lot of different people and I didn’t know what to do. I did not want to participate in the article at that point.”
The Rolling Stone article, published in 2014, described Jackie's alleged rape by a University of Virginia fraternity, and the school's alleged failure to take action after the attack. The article was found to be largely false, and was fully retracted from the magazine. A former associate dean named in the article subsequently faced public backlash, and subsequently sued Rolling Stone for defamation.