'Jackie' says PTSD hampers memory of sex assault, aftermath

Oct 26, 2016, 07:38

She says Erdely portrayed her as the chief villain in the story: an uncaring, callous and ineffective voice who sought to suppress Jackie's claims.

Garber-Paul said that she, story author Sabrina Rubin Erdely and editor Sean Woods all made a decision to not confirm Jackie's story with her friends.

Sexton asked Erdely, of Philadelphia, if it ever occurred to her someone would get a tattoo to commemorate something that didn't happen.

She also said that Jackie provided information to the fact checker that was backed up by emails, text messages, friends and even UVA on several other occasions.

On Tuesday, Eramo's attorneys played the separate deposition videos of Duffin and Hendley, each of whom spoke about the night in which they found their then-friend Jackie "shaken" by what she relayed to have been a sexual assault.

The woman identified only as "Jackie" in the 2014 story "A Rape on Campus" repeatedly answered "I don't know" or "I can't remember" when pressed by attorneys to discuss what she told Rolling Stone about her alleged sexual assault two years prior.

"I understood what it's like to be lied to by Jackie", Hendley said.

Erdely says she visited the Phi Kappa Psi house in September 2014 to determine whether Jackie's description of it matched reality. Local police also said they had "exhausted all investigative leads" and found nothing supporting Jackie's claims.

The article told the story of "Jackie" and how she was gang raped by a fraternity during initiation. She even said, in the weeks leading up to publication that she had some real reservations about her own participation in the article.

"I was 20 years old and had no idea there was an off-the-record or an on-the-record", Coakley said.

Jackie explained that she was getting a lot of pressure from a lot of different people on things she didn't want to do.

When pushed by attorneys to provide specific details, she responded: "I have PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]".

"I wish that Jackie had not been in my story", Erdely said last week during her testimony.

In response to that revelation, Erdely told the jury that she would have allowed Jackie to step away from the story if she wanted to, adding that she had another woman's story that could have served as the feature's backbone.

"Jackie" - the student at the center of the now-discredited Rolling Stone article about the University of Virginia - is doubling down on her explosive claims that she was gang-raped by seven brothers at a prestigious UVa fraternity.

Eramo's attorneys have argued Erdely had doubts about Jackie's credibility but pushed forward anyway and consciously chose not to contact certain sources she believed would blow up the story, including the man who Jackie said orchestrated her attack. The trial phase of the lawsuit began this week, and Erdely has testified three consecutive days.

"I was under the impression that they were not going to be published". Jurors listed to audio of her interviews with "Jackie" and poured over hundreds of pages of Erdely's reporting notes. "She never definitely said "yes" or 'no" to any question.

This story is big news for college campuses, especially as rape is a huge problem in terms of college culture, and there have been big movements as of late to change this, largely spearheaded from Vice President Joe Biden. Eramo filed her suit one month later, alleging that the story had depicted her as an uncaring and indifferent administrator who dissuaded sexual assault survivors from seeking justice.

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