The New York Times reports that a Virginia judge has ruled that “Jackie,” the center of Rolling Stone’s debunked gang-rape story at the University of Virginia, must give a deposition in a defamation suit brought against the magazine.
Jackie’s lawyers had asked that she be excused from being deposed in the case because, “Forcing [Jackie] to revisit her sexual assault, and then the re-victimization that took place after the Rolling Stone article came out, will inevitably lead to a worsening of her symptoms and current mental health.”
As I wrote last week:
Allowing Jackie to avoid being deposed would create a moral hazard in future cases. The claim that one party’s emotional injury — stemming from having to confront the causes of actual damage to a second party — should excuse the former of his or her legal responsibilities is bunk. . . .
Jackie refused to file a police report (even after, according to the [Washington] Post, a UVA staff member drove her to the police station) but was willing to talk to two national publications where she made scurrilous accusations against individuals and institutions — she should now sit for the deposition.
The defamation suit is being brought against Rolling Stone by UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo, who disputes the magazine’s account that she acted in a callous, uncaring fashion toward Jackie after the former UVA student claimed to her that she had been raped at a campus fraternity house.