Rolling Stone publisher Jann Simon Wenner stands by most of the reporting in a since-retracted article about campus sexual assault, and says he now regrets retracting the whole article.
Wenner was interviewed in a deposition for a defamation lawsuit against his magazine from a woman negatively portrayed in that article. The article, about a woman named "Jackie" who claimed to have been gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party, was eventually retracted after the woman's claims fell apart. Wenner said the magazine initially issued a "full retraction" of the parts of the article dealing with Jackie's story, but stood by the rest.
Looking back, Wenner said he wished the magazine hadn't retracted the whole article.
After it became clear that Jackie's claims were false, the magazine appended an editor's note to the top of the article but kept it on the website. After the Columbia Journalism Review investigated what went wrong in the reporting of the article in April 2015, the magazine finally retracted the article by removing it from the website.
Wenner also took responsibility for the problems in the article and the pain it caused for University of Virginia Dean Nicole Eramo, who is suing the magazine over her portrayal in that article.
"To the extent that we have caused you damage, and obviously we have, but the fact that we're here, I'm very, very sorry. It was never meant to ever happen this way to you," Wenner said. "And believe me, I've suffered as much as you have. And I know what it's like. I hope that this whole thing hadn't happened but it is, and it's what we live with. But please, my sympathies."
It is unclear how he suffered as much as Eramo.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.