The lawsuit against Rolling Stone by slandered UVA administrator Nicole Eramo has ended with a massive victory for Eramo, UVA Phi Kappa Psi, and anybody else slandered by the magazine’s vindictive and inflammatory false reporting.
From the Associated Press:
The 10-member jury found journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely was responsible for libel, with actual malice. Jurors also said Rolling Stone and its publisher were responsible for defaming University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo.
Eramo’s attorneys argued that Erdely came into the story with a preconceived storyline about institutional indifference to sexual assault and intentionally disregarded statements and facts about Eramo that didn’t fit that narrative.
So if you haven’t been following this whole mess, basically what happened is this: The verdict was looking slim and difficult when the judge ruled earlier this week that Eramo would have to prove “actual malice” on behalf of Rolling Stone rather than stupidity and legendary incompetence. As we suggested not long ago, the testimony from disgraced reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdley probably sealed this deal when she unbelievably refused to fully discount her career-ending stupidity and admit she made a huge mistake.
It’s not too hard to understand why she did this. Just take a look at the size of the original byline on the article. That thing is unreasonably enormous for someone who would be trying to report the truth fairly and unbiasedly. She was extremely proud of this article, and was blinded by her hubris.
I think in light of this verdict, it was very easy for the jury to see the vitriol from Erdley was very real, intentional, and did lasting damage to innocent people.
Slam dunk in the justice department, US legal system. Hopefully this will be a multi-million dollar warning to anybody else who goes on a witch hunt without hard evidence, or tries to milk a tragic, systemic problem for shock and profit. Maybe.
[via Associated Press]