The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter at the University of Virginia filed Monday a $25 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine, the Washington Post reported. The lawsuit takes issue with a now-retracted article written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely that detailed the alleged gang rape at the fraternity house of a U.Va. freshman identified only by the name Jackie.
“This defamation action is brought to seek redress for the wanton destruction caused to Phi Kappa Psi by Rolling Stone’s intentional, reckless, and unethical behavior,” the complaint filed by the fraternity read.
Rolling Stone’s story, "A Rape On Campus," was widely discredited after discrepancies in the magazine’s account emerged, such as the date of the party the reported gang rape allegedly took place at and the identity of the main attacker, who was neither a fraternity member nor a U.Va. student. After a damning report by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism outlined a series of failures in the magazine’s reporting, editing and fact-checking process, Rolling Stone retracted the story in April and managing editor Will Dana resigned.
UVA Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter files $25 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone for retracted story: https://t.co/KR141Pjgjg
— T. Rees Shapiro (@TReesShapiro) November 9, 2015
Just hours after Columbia Journalism School released the report, the Phi Kappa Psi chapter president stated the fraternity would pursue all available legal action against the magazine. The lawsuit argues that despite the article’s retraction, the fraternity suffered outrage from a misinformed public.
“The fraternity chapter and its student and alumni members suffered extreme damage to their reputations in the aftermath of the article’s publication and continue to suffer despite the ultimate unraveling of the story,” the chapter said Monday in a statement. “The article also subjected the student members and their families to danger and immense stress while jeopardizing the future existence of the chapter.”
The magazine faces two other lawsuits in relation to the story: Three alumni members of the fraternity filed a federal lawsuit in July against Rolling Stone, and U.Va.'s associate dean, Nicole Eramo, filed a $7.5 million federal lawsuit alleging she was wrongfully vilified by the story’s claims that she took “no action” on campus sexual assaults.