A Manhattan judge tossed out the defamation lawsuit brought against Rolling Stone Magazine by three former members of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on Tuesday, the Washington Post .
The defamation claims stemmed from the debunked University of Virginia gang rape story written by 1994 College graduate Sabrina Erdely. The story, titled “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” detailed the graphic account of a student, “Jackie,” being raped by seven men at a party at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in 2012.
An investigation following the publication of the article found no evidence to back up the occurrence of the assault. Rolling Stone retracted the story and Erdely and her editor both apologized.
The three men who brought the case, George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford and Ross Fowler, claimed the article brought them humiliation and emotional distress. But U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said their claims were based in “speculation and hypothesis,” not fact. He pointed out that none of the three members of the fraternity were identified in the article.
Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia associate dean of students who was named in the story, also filed a defamation suit against Rolling Stone in May of 2015.
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