Lawyers for “Jackie,” the woman at the center of Rolling Stone’s widely discredited piece about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia frat, have asked a judge to cancel her April 5 deposition, saying that testifying will “re-traumatize” her.
Last May, UVA’s dean Nicole Eramo filed a multimillion-dollar defamation suit against Rolling Stone, arguing the article has “deeply damaged me both personally and professionally.” “Jackie” has been called to testify in that lawsuit, but her lawyers say deposing her could cause “significant and undeniable psychological harm” and have “shattering and potentially irreparable consequences,” according to the Washington Post.
The Post continues:
“Forcing her to revisit her sexual assault, and then the re-victimization that took place after the Rolling Stone article came out, will inevitably lead to a worsening of her symptoms and current mental health,” Jackie’s attorneys wrote, citing “extensive support in the medical literature” that shows “sexual assault victims will experience trauma if they are forced to revisit the details of their assault.”
Meanwhile, Eramo’s lawyers argue that “Jackie” “fabricated her perpetrator and the details of the alleged assault.”
Rolling Stone did eventually retract the story after an independent review by Columbia’s journalism school found it to be “a journalistic failure.”