Rolling Stone has changed a statement to readers on its website about a widely criticized story detailing an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. The magazine published a three-paragraph statement Friday, saying trust “was misplaced” in the subject of the story, identified only as Jackie. Many criticized the statement and others suggested the apology may have been more harmful than the initial article.
Rolling Stone Saturday added a longer explanation, noting criticism of the story from the Washington Post and others. The updated statement removed the misplaced trust line and instead says there "appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account.”
The new statement noted the fraternity where Jackie said she was raped has issued a formal denial of the assault, saying the event Jackie said she attended never happened.
There were also issues regarding the man Jackie said invited her to the fraternity event and then assaulted her. The Washington Post reported "Drew" did not belong to that fraternity and when contacted by the paper, he denied knowing Jackie. There were numerous other discrepancies not noted in the initial statement and that since have been pointed out.
“Given all of these reports, however, we have come to the conclusion that we were mistaken in honoring Jackie’s request to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account,” Rolling Stone said, adding, though, “mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”
Despite the changes, including an additional paragraph of text, as noted by BuzzFeed, the note is still dated Dec. 5, the date the first version of the note was published.
The story’s subject was interviewed by the Washington Post and said despite the inaccuracies in the Rolling Stone article, she stands by her account of what happened.