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Rolling Stone found liable for defamation for UVA rape story

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 6: The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house is seen on the University of Virginia campus on December 6, 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Friday, Rolling Stone magazine issued an apology for discrepencies that were published in an article regarding the alleged gang rape of a University of Virginia student by members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – DECEMBER 6: The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house is seen on the University of Virginia campus on December 6, 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Friday, Rolling Stone magazine issued an apology for discrepencies that were published in an article regarding the alleged gang rape of a University of Virginia student by members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)

A jury found Rolling Stone magazine liable for defamation on Friday over its explosive and later discredited story about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house.

The magazine’s publisher and the reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, were also found liable.

A school administrator, Nicole Eramo, said that the story, “A Rape on Campus,” portrayed her as callous and insensitive to the plight of an alleged rape victim. She is seeking $7.5 million. Damages will be determined later.

Rolling Stone retracted the story after doubts emerged about the claim of the accuser, identified in the story only as Jackie.

The jury is made up of eight women and two men.

Rolling Stone issued a statement in response to the verdict, shortly after it was made:

For almost 50 years, Rolling Stone has aimed to produce journalism with the highest reporting and ethical standards, and with a strong humanistic point of view. When we published ‘A Rape on Campus’ in 2014, we were attempting to tackle the very serious and complex topic of sexual assault on college campuses, a subject that is more relevant today than ever. In our desire to present this complicated issue from the perspective of a survivor, we overlooked reporting paths and made journalistic mistakes that we are committed to never making again. We deeply regret these missteps and sincerely apologize to anyone hurt by them, including Ms. Eramo. It is our deep hope that our failings do not deflect from the pervasive issues discussed in the piece, and that reporting on sexual assault cases ultimately results in campus policies that better protect our students. We will continue to publish stories that shine a light on the defining social, political and cultural issues of our times, and we will continue to seek the truth in every story we publish.