The University of Virginia dean accused by Rolling Stone of being indifferent toward sexual assault survivors is now suing the magazine.
Associate dean of students Nicole Eramo filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, seeking nearly $8 million in damages for its portrayal of her, the Washington Post reported.
"Rolling Stone and [writer Sabrina Rubin] Erdely's highly defamatory and false statements about Dean Eramo were not the result of an innocent mistake," the lawsuit states, according to a copy obtained by the Washington Post. "They were the result of a wanton journalist who was more concerned with writing an article that fulfilled her preconceived narrative about the victimization of women on American college campuses, and a malicious publisher who was more concerned about selling magazines to boost the economic bottom line for its faltering magazine, than they were about discovering the truth or actual facts."
Eramo was the only named "villain" of the Rolling Stone story about a brutal gang rape at U.Va. She was described as being callously indifferent to sexual assault accusations because, according to the accuser in the now-retracted story, "nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school."
Far from being an indifferent dean, Eramo actually did everything she could to help Jackie, the accuser in the Rolling Stone story, but wasn't given enough information to identify any real assailants. Further, Jackie wouldn't cooperate with police even before the Rolling Stone story broke.
Eramo provided a statement to the Columbia Journalism Review autopsy of the story, which crumbled shortly after it was published when it was discovered that the author never contacted the accuser's friends or alleged rapist to verify the story (which was proven false). On April 22, several weeks after the review came out, Eramo penned an open letter to Rolling Stone that seemed to suggest an impending lawsuit.
Eramo has now filed that lawsuit, alleging many of the same things she wrote in the open letter, including the death threats made against her in the wake of the original article.
Eramo's lawsuit claims that Jackie tried to tell Rolling Stone its depiction of the dean was wrong. Eramo is not suing Jackie, but she is, in addition to the magazine, suing Rolling Stone's parent company Wenner Media and the author of the original story, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.