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Sabrina Erdely
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    (circa 1972- )
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Best known for writing the Rolling Stone magazine article ‘A Rape on Campus’ describing the alleged rape of a University of Virginia student (referred to as ‘Jackie’ in the article) by several fraternity members (November 19, 2014)
    Following a review by the Columbia University School of Journalism, ‘Rolling Stone’ officially retracted the article (April 5, 2015)
    Found liable for defamation with actual malice in a lawsuit filed by Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia administrator named in the article (November 4, 2016)
    Has also written articles for GQ, Self, Men’s Health, Glamour, Mother Jones and The New Yorker
    It did not seem to bother her that Jackie’s story kept changing.
    Or that many of the details of Jackie’s story (such as her description of the fraternity house) did not match reality.
    She did not interview friends of Jackie who had attended the fraternity party with her.
    When other reporters tracked down the friends, their stories contradicted Jackie’s.
    She did not interview any of the students Jackie accused of raping her, offering the excuse that the contact page on the fraternity website was ‘pretty out of date.’
    Jackie later told a Washington Post reporter that she felt ‘manipulated’ by Erdejy.
    The Columbia School of Journalism review concluded that she and Rolling Stone had failed to engage in ‘basic, even routine journalistic practice.’
    Camille Cosby seized on the story to suggest that the sexual assault allegations against her husband might prove equally bogus.
    In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, she called journalist Stephen Glass ‘a sociopathic creep’ after it was discovered that Glass had fabricated stories for ‘The New Republic.’
    She won a GLAAD Media Award for an article about the bullying of gay students (2012).
    Before reality intervened, her reporting in ‘A Rape on Campus’ was praised by the likes of CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin (‘amazing work, a real public service’), The New York Times’ Clare Martin (‘incredibly well-reported’) and NBC’s Luke Russert (‘an extraordinary piece of journalism’).
    She offered an apology (albeit, an extremely grudging one) for the article.
    She was at least classier than Rolling Stone’s lawyers, who declared the magazine a victim of ‘fraud’ perpetrated by Jackie.

Credit: C. Fishel

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