The woman whose explosive allegations about a gang rape at the University of Virginia served as the centerpiece of a discredited Rolling Stone story has testified under oath for the first time.
Her testimony was immediately sealed.
A Virginia judge ruled earlier this week that the woman identified publicly only as “Jackie” must take part in a deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit against the magazine filed by Nicole Eramo, an associate dean of students at UVA.
Attorneys for Eramo claim that Rolling Stone’s “recklessness” led to her portrayal “as a callous administrator who discouraged Jackie from reporting an assault to police.” Eramo is seeking $7.85 million in damages.
The deposition took place on Thursday, but all records and transcripts were marked by the judge as confidential.
Libby Locke, an attorney for Eramo, said only that the deposition was “productive from plaintiff’s perspective.” Attorneys for Jackie and Rolling Stone did not respond to a request for comment.
Rolling Stone’s 2014 story, “A Rape on Campus,” set off national outrage over Jackie’s claims to have been gang raped at a UVA fraternity.
But critics quickly raised doubts about the allegations, and Charlottesville, Virginia, police ultimately found no evidence that the sexual assault occurred. Rolling Stone retracted the story last year.
Jackie’s attorneys had resisted the deposition, and accused Eramo’s lawyers of “victim blaming and shaming.”
On Monday, Judge Glen E. Conrad denied Jackie’s motion to quash the deposition subpoena.
The magazine faces a separate $25 million lawsuit from the UVA fraternity named in the story, Phi Kappa Psi.
Three former members of the fraternity have also sued Rolling Stone.