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Rolling Stone Settles With Fraternity It Smeared, Signs Seven-Figure Payday

By  Hank Berrien

Rolling Stone, admitting that it defamed members of University of Virginia fraternity Phi Kappa Psi by claiming in a now-infamous article that the members of the fraternity raped a female student, will pay $1.65 million to settle the defamation suit.

In April, a jury in Virginia awarded Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia associate dean who was targeted in the article, “A Rape on Campus,” written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, $3 million in damages — $2 million came from Erdely and $1 million from Rolling Stone.

Erdely claimed Jackie Coakley had been brutally raped by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members during a party in Sept. 2012, adding that Eramo acted dismissively regarding Coakley’s case. But Coakley’s claim of a rape was a lie; and her claim that Eramo was dismissive was also a lie.

The Washington Post investigated Erdely’s article, finding numerous holes in her story.

David Moyer, the national secretary for Phi Kappa Psi, stated Rolling Stone will pay the $1.65 million settlement by Aug. 31.

Phi Kappa Psi released a statement:

It has been nearly three years since we and the entire University of Virginia community were shocked by the now infamous article, and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath. The chapter looks forward to donating a significant portion of its settlement proceeds to organizations that provide sexual assault awareness education, prevention training and victim counseling services on college campuses.

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