On Tuesday, a judge formally ruled that Jackie, the former UVa student at the center of the now-redacted Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus,” must testify in a defamation suit against the magazine.
UVa associate dean Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone, its parent company Wenner Media, and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely for $8 million in damages. She argues that the largely discredited article painted her as villainous and insensitive to the needs of the sexual assault survivors with whom she works.
Eramo’s lawyer, Libby Locke, said in a public statement Tuesday that Rolling Stone “was dead set on portraying Dean Eramo as a callous administrator who discouraged Jackie from reporting an assault to police, when, in fact, Dean Eramo took Jackie to the police, and it appears that Jackie knew that her tale of rape would not have stood up under real scrutiny and investigation.”
Jackie’s lawyers have spent the past two months trying to keep her out of the courtroom, arguing that reliving the ordeal would cause her unnecessary and avoidable trauma. However, Jackie is a prominent figure in the lawsuit as the “vilifying” and “false” information that she gave Erdely about Dean Eramo’s role in the matter served as the basis for Rolling Stone’s accusations.
In the hearing, US District Judge Glen Conrad of the Western District of Virginia denied the attempt to prevent Jackie form being deposed in the civil suit. The ruling orders Jackie to be available for questioning by both the prosecuting and defending attorneys in a deposition on Thursday afternoon. However, Conrad is allowing the questions posed to be limited in scope and mandated that any transcripts or recordings be kept confidential.