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Rolling Stone Wants Judge to Dismiss UVA Frat Boys’ Lawsuit
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Graffit outside the Phi Sigma Psi house

The Phi Kappa Psi house was defaced after the false Rolling Stone article was published in 2014.

Summary: Rolling Stone magazine wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against it by University of Virginia frat boys.

Rolling Stone is fighting back. This week, the fallen magazine urged a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by three frat brothers of the University of Virginia. The Phi Kappa Psi boys claim emotional distress because of Rolling Stone’s now debunked article “A Rape on Campus,” accusing the school of covering up a horrific rape at their frat house.


The damning article, written by Sabrina Erderly and published in November 2014, stated that a UVA student was raped by seven men at a Phi Kappa Psi party in 2012. The article suggested that the school administrators covered up the event instead of investigating, and immediately after it was published, it sparked national outrage and vandals defaced the Phi Kappa Psi charter’s house.

In April of 2015, the story was retracted after The Washington Post and the Columbia School of Journalism found that the rape had never happened.

Unfortunately for those profiled in the story, like the university and the administrators, their reputations are forever  associated with a rape charge.

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George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford, and Ross Fowler are the three frat brothers who sued Rolling Stone in July. The three said that the article, which did not name them specifically, was written in a way that indirectly accused them.

In court documents filed Wednesday, lawyers for Rolling Stone said that the frat brothers’ suit should be dismissed because the article never names them directly and that readers would not have been able to link them to the alleged incident. The men, however, said there were enough details in the story that anyone who knew them would think that the characters were them. For instance, details include the timing of their membership and the description of one of their bedrooms.

The since graduated frat brothers’ lawsuit is one of three against the magazine. The other lawsuits include a $7.5 million suit filed by an associate dean and a $25 million suit filed by the UVA chapter of Phi Kappa Psi.





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