Rolling Stone magazine admitted on Friday to inconsistencies in a bombshell story published last month about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.
In the piece by Sabrina Rubin Erdely published last month, a woman named ‘Jackie’ details a brutal gang rape that she says happened to her at a fraternity party and the University’s overall culture of sweeping sexual assault under the rug.
“In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” Rolling Stone’s managing editor Will Dana wrote in a statement. “We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”
Melissa Bruno, a spokesperson for Rolling Stone, said there were no disciplinary actions planned for any of the staff involved in the story.
The Rolling Stone piece has been questioned since it was published. One of the most glaring inconsistencies was that Rolling Stone did not appear to reach out to the accused rapists. In the note, Dana said they did not reach out to the man she claimed orchestrated the attack “because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story.” Dana also said that friends and campus activists supported Jackie’s story, and that “Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility.” The fraternity also told the magazine they could not confirm or deny the story.
Dana later took to Twitter to place the blame on Rolling Stone, and not on their source.