The Rolling Stone magazine is at the center of a lawsuit concerning a meanwhile debunked rape story involving three graduates of the University of Virginia.
The story lingers since the three now graduates of the University of Virginia were still students and members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
The three – Ross Fowler, Stephen Hadford and George Elias IV – stated that the story, which was proven to be erroneous directly linked them to the alleged rape. As such, all three filed a lawsuit directed at the Rolling Stone magazine, as well as the author of the article, according to the records of New York District Court.
Wenner Media, the publisher of the Rolling Stone magazine is also targeted in the official complaint for vicious attacks on the three former Phi Kappa Psi members that resulted in harmful consequences for Ross, Stephen and George.
The article that caused all the trouble was published in the magazine by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, journalist, in November 2014. One month later, the Rolling Stone magazine apologized for the inaccurate information involving the three plaintiffs.
Nonetheless, the consequences of inaccurate journalism are felt today. Will Dana, who is the managing director of the notorious Rolling Stone magazine is also leaving starting next month. In a statement for the Times, Will Dana said:
“I have decided that it is time to move on”.
It is unclear whether this decision is linked to the erroneous story, although it wouldn’t be a surprise.
According to the three plaintiffs who graduated in 2013 from the University of Virginia, the retracted article:
“created a simple and direct way to match the alleged attackers”,
and offered a multitude of details that would directly link them to the rape presented in the story. As a result, anonymous users took the liberty to post the identities of the former Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members online, making them the targets of vicious attacks.
Ever since, their names are linked with what the article presented as a rape story. Consequently, George Elias IV, Ross Fowler and Stephen Hadford have a triple count lawsuit which includes defamation, as well as inflicting emotional distress. For each one of the counts the plaintiffs are holding up, they are looking for reparations of 75,000 dollars.
Although the rape story was retracted by the Rolling Stone magazine in December 2014 and official apologies were stated, the lawsuit seeks for moral reparations for the three University of Virginia graduates.
Photo Credits newshour-tc.pbs.org