‘Jackie’ says she was pressured to give Rolling Stone discredited rape story
The former University of Virginia student who claimed she was gang raped at a fraternity house in a since-discredited Rolling Stone article testified Monday that she was “naive” and felt pressured into participating in the story.
“I remember she said there was no way to pull out,” the woman, identified only as “Jackie,” said of journalist Sabrina Erdely in a taped deposition from April, the audio of which was played at the defamation trial against Rolling Stone.
“I don’t remember specifically but I remember feeling scared and unsure what to do,” she added.
Jackie’s account of being raped by seven fraternity members was featured prominently in Erdely’s incendiary Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” which was retracted by the magazine after the student’s story was called into question.
A former UVA associate dean, Nicole Eramo, is suing the magazine for $7.85 million, saying the article painted her as the “chief villain” who turned a blind eye to Jackie’s rape allegations.
Jackie testified that she could recall “feeling upset” when Erdely informed her that her story was going to be the focus of the article.
“I was uncomfortable with that,” she said.
“I was 19 or 20 years old and did not understand ‘on the record’ or ‘off,’” she added. “I was naïve.”
A few weeks before the story was scheduled to run, she wanted to back out.
“I felt overwhelmed and, um, stressed and scared,” Jackie explained. “I felt like I was getting a lot of pressure from a lot of people.”
She insisted that what she told Erdely was true.
“I stand by my account to Rolling Stone,” Jackie said. “I believed it to be true at the time. I was assaulted.”
She "believed" it to be true, shows weakness. This is to avoid saying "I told the truth." "Believed" is past tense.Next note the qualification is taken further; "at the time" suggesting she no longer believes.
But she admitted,“Some of the details of my assault are hazy now. I have PTSD.”
Jackie said she couldn’t recall many things that happened between 2011 and 2014.
“There have always been things I remember and some things I don’t know if I really remember,” she said, when asked if she had post-traumatic stress for all of 2014.
As for how she felt about Eramo, Jackie said, “She did what an advocate is supposed to do and helped me.”
Jackie said that she told them conflicting accounts of her alleged rape because her “comfort level” was different with each of them.
“I don’t remember exactly what I told Dean Eramo and what I told Ms. Erdely,” she said.
During the deposition, Jackie was also grilled about text message conversations she’d sent to Erdely that were supposedly from a pal.
When asked point blank if she’d ever created text messages or faked conversations for Rolling Stone, Jackie didn’t deny it, saying instead she didn’t know or couldn’t remember.