Rolling Stone says problems with fraternity rape story were its fault

Sun Dec 7, 2014 11:36pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Rolling Stone magazine has revised a letter to readers regarding a November article about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, taking responsibility for problems with its story and saying they were not the fault of the alleged victim.

The story created an uproar at the school and prompted renewed U.S. debate on sexual abuse. The fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, rebutted key parts of the Rolling Stone story on Friday, after which the magazine then issued a note to readers saying its trust in the accuser had been misplaced.

In its revised letter signed by managing editor Will Dana over the weekend, the magazine deleted the reference to its trust in the woman, named only as Jackie, saying "These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.

"We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events," the letter added.

The original story by reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely described a 2012 alleged attack on the woman at the fraternity house pledge party and the university's alleged failure to respond to the attack.

"We should have worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story," the magazine, founded by Jann Wenner in 1967, said, noting that it was wrong to have honored the woman's request not to contact the alleged assaulters to get their account.

The letter, posted on Rolling Stone's web site, maintained that there "appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account" of the events, and that the woman herself "is now unsure if the man she says lured her into the room where the rape occurred, identified in the story, as 'Drew,' was a Phi Psi brother."

(Reporting by Chris Michaud)