Rolling Stone Publisher Offers Tepid Apology for False UVA Rape Story

Almost two years to the day that Rolling Stone magazine ran a now discredited story about a fabricated rape case at the University of Virginia, only now is Jann Wenner — publisher of the magazine – offering an apology to the former dean of the school, Nicole Eramo, who is suing the magazine for defamation. 

Eramo claims the magazine’s 2014 story, “A Rape on Campus” made her appear as a villain and unsympathetic to the alleged rape victim, “Jackie.”

Jackson Landers of the New York Post reports Wenner apologized to Eramo on Friday but disagreed with the decision to withdraw the entire story as well as tried to lay blame elsewhere.  In a taped testimony, Wenner stated:

“I’m very, very sorry. It was never meant to ever happen this way to you…And believe me, I’ve suffered as much as you have,” he said. “And I know what it’s like. I hope that this whole thing hadn’t happened but it is, and it’s what we live with.”

Wenner did admit that one of the magazine’s biggest mistakes was not reaching out to “Jackie’s” alleged rapists: “We did want to respect her wishes as the victim of a horrible rape....looking back with 20/20 hindsight, we should have demanded the identity of her [attackers]...”  

Wenner even tried to suggest the mistake was unavoidable: “We were the victim of one of these rare, once-in-a-lifetime things that nobody in journalism can protect themselves from.”  

Wenner also disclosed that Will Dana — former managing editor of Rolling Stone – was fired because the magazine wouldn’t be “traumatized and demoralized people”: “Even before this happened, we had not been publishing editorial material as sharp as we should have…”

Dana had been criticized after the publication of the story, and his response, or lack thereof, when additional reporting from various outlets confirmed that almost every detail of the story was false.   

It’s amazing Rolling Stone still has any readers left given their lack of journalistic ethics and blatant false reporting.  Their total disregard for the truth has reaped havoc on the lives of many innocent people — yet all it’s publisher seems content on doing in a court of law is handing down a half-hearted “apology.”

Melissa Mullins
Melissa Mullins
Melissa Mullins is a freelance writer and PR professional living in the Washington, D.C. area.