- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 20, 2016

The woman at the center of Rolling Stone magazine’s now-retracted story about a rape at the University of Virginia has been ordered to appear in court to answer questions as part of a civil suit.

“The court believes that a one-day, seven-hour deposition will be sufficient,” Judge Glen Conrad wrote in a court order this week, calling for the woman identified only as Jackie to appear in court on April 5, Newsweek reported.

Jackie will be deposed as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by Nicole Eramo, an associate dean at the University of Virginia, against Rolling Stone, the magazine’s owner, Wenner Media, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the writer of the controversial story “A Rape on Campus.”

The story, based mostly on testimony from Jackie, alleged that she was the victim of a brutal gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house on the campus.

Three days after the story was published, the university suspended all fraternities and canceled all fraternal activities. But the article came under scrutiny as the fraternity denied the events described in the article ever occurred. Those accused of rape complained that they were never contacted for an interview for the story.

As new details emerged, the magazine distanced itself from the story. A local police investigation found no evidence to support the woman’s claims. The article was eventually retracted when Jackie’s narrative fell apart. Rolling Stone asked the Columbia School of Journalism to conduct a review to determine where the magazine went wrong.

In May 2015, Ms. Eramo filed a suit against the magazine for defamation. She argued the story portrayed her as a villain and characterized her as uncaring and callous to Jackie’s needs following her alleged rape. She reportedly received hateful messages and death threats after the article’s release and argues that her career and reputation were seriously damaged in the aftermath, the Daily Progress reported.

Jackie has remained anonymous throughout the legal proceedings. She also refused to cooperate with the police investigation that found no evidence of her claims.

Judge Conrad also set an Oct. 11 trial date for the case, which is expected to last two weeks.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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