The Rolling Stone apology about the manner in which the magazine reported the alleged gang rape of a freshman student at a University of Virginia (UVA) fraternity is being changed, and what seemed an attack on the victim, Jackie, is now deleted.
On November 19, Rolling Stone publish an extremely disturbing story titled “A Rape On Campus” about a woman they call Jackie, who accuses members of a prestigious fraternity of gang raping her while she was attending a party during her freshman year.
The piece was received with disgust and shock by readers, many of whom left comments relating similar incidents that have happened to them or friends. As a result, UVA suspended all fraternities until the beginning of next year, which many saw as just a slap on the wrist because not much happens between now and the New Year due to exams and the Christmas break.
Many empathize with Jackie’s predicament. After all, she alleges she wasn’t drunk and was lured by her date to the frat house where a group of men repeatedly raped her, leaving her bloodied and traumatized. The account of the Rolling Stone piece started a national conversation about the Greek culture on American campuses.
After parts of Jackie’s story came into question — author Sabrina Rubin Erdely failed to interview the alleged rapists — the magazine backtracked. Last Friday, Rolling Stone issued a statement in the form of a letter from its managing editor, Will Dana, as shared in its entirety on the Inquisitr.
Some took issue with the apology, in which the publication seemed to throw the alleged victim under the bus because of what many see as incompetence by the writer and editors, who didn’t fully vet the story. Now Rolling Stone is changing its tune yet again, and has changed Dana’s original apology.
Part of the first apology read, “our trust in her was misplaced,” referring to Jackie. Those words were quietly removed over the weekend without an explanation. The new Rolling Stone apology now states, “These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”
“We published the article with the firm belief that it was accurate. Given all of these reports, however, we have come to the conclusion that we were mistaken in honoring Jackie’s request to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. In trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault, we made a judgment – the kind of judgment reporters and editors make every day. We should have not made this agreement with Jackie and we should have worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story. These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie. We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening.”
Rolling Stone has been harshly criticized for not talking to the men who were allegedly involved in the gang rape and some of Jackie’s friends featured in the story. The magazine says they honored Jackie’s wish that Erdely not talk to the men in question because she feared retaliation.
According to Jackie’s account in the original story, she was raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on September 28, 2012, while two others watched encouraging the group. However, further investigation indicates there was no party at the house on that date or the entire weekend, according to a statement from fraternity lawyer Ben Warthen, which is corroborated by records of activities, CNN reports.
[Image via Shutterstock/Steve Heap]