Rolling Stone Settles With University Of Virginia Fraternity Over Rape Hoax Article

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CHUCK ROSS
Reporter

A source involved at the national level with the fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, tells TheDC that Rolling Stone will pay $1.65 million to settle the defamation suit.

The magazine’s decision follows a settlement in April with Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia associate dean who was also smeared in the article, which was written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

In the piece, “A Rape on Campus,” Erdely relayed the story of Jackie Coakley, a Virginia woman who claimed she was brutally raped by a group of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members during a party in Sept. 2012.

Erdely portrayed Eramo as dismissive of Coakley’s case. But it was later revealed that Coakley not only fabricated the attack by the fraternity members but that Eramo took her allegations seriously at the time she made them.

A jury in Virginia awarded Eramo $3 million in damages — $2 million from Erdely and $1 million from Rolling Stone.

 In an email provided to TheDC, David Moyer, the national secretary for Phi Kappa Psi, informed other members of the national board about the settlement.

Moyer, who also provided legal counsel to the fraternity, wrote that the magazine will pay the $1.65 million settlement by Aug. 31. The Virginia chapter had sued Rolling Stone for $25 million.

Neither Rolling Stone nor Phi Kappa Psi responded to email requests for comment for this article. Moyer also did not respond to a request for comment by press time.