A U.S. judge on Tuesday ordered a woman who is a central figure in a debunked story about rape at the University of Virginia to turn over documents related to the article as part of a pending defamation suit, the Washington Post reported.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Glen Conrad said in court he planned to grant most aspects of a motion from lawyers for a University of Virginia associate dean responsible for dealing with sexual assaults on campus.
The associate dean is suing Rolling Stone for its depiction of her in the 2014 article about rape at the school, it said in an article posted online.
Libby Locke, a lawyer for associate dean Nicole Eramo, said she was pleased with the court decision regarding the woman, known as Jackie, who is a key figure in the story.
“It appears that Jackie fabricated the account of the sexual assault portrayed in Rolling Stone, and that Rolling Stone knew she was an unreliable source,” Locke said in a statement sent by email.
A lawyer for Rolling Stone was not immediately available for comment.
Three University of Virginia graduates in July filed a defamation lawsuit in New York against Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher, Wenner Media, and a journalist, over a now-debunked article describing a fraternity gang rape.
The three men, all 2013 graduates and members of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the story, claim the magazine was negligent in publishing the article, “A Rape on Campus,” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. They are seeking damages for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.
Rolling Stone apologized in December 2014 for “discrepancies” in the account after the story sparked a national debate over sexual violence on college campuses.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Sandra Maler)