‘Jackie’ of retracted Rolling Stone story says PTSD fogged memory

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The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity building at University of Virginia was the site of an alleged gang rape of a university student as described in a Dec. 2014 Rolling Stone article, which has since come under scrutiny. A police investigation, however, was unable to confirm the incident. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity building at University of Virginia was the site of an alleged gang rape of a university student as described in a Dec. 2014 Rolling Stone article, which has since been retracted. A police investigation was unable to confirm the incident. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The former University of Virginia student at the center of a retracted Rolling Stone article said in a video shown in court Tuesday that she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, according to the Associated Press.

The woman, called “Jackie” in the article, cited PTSD as the cause for not remembering details of her assault, which was described as a gang rape in the article by Sabrina Erdely. Police later found no evidence to establish Jackie’s story.

The deposition video was shown as part of a defamation lawsuit brought by UVA administrator Nicole Eramo against Rolling Stone for the article that she claims cast her as the “chief villain.” Eramo is seeking $7.5 million.

While the jury watched Jackie’s video, the media and public were only allowed to hear the audio, in which she repeatedly says “some of the details are foggy,” NBC 29 reported.

“There have always been certain things I can’t remember and some things that I think I remember that I don’t know if I remember,” the Associated Press reported Jackie said in the video. “I stand by the account I gave to Rolling Stone. I believed it to be true at the time.”

Jackie said she does not exactly remember what she told either Eramo or Sabrina Erdely in their interactions and felt pressured by Erdely to participate in the story.

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Some of Jackie’s text messages were also read to the jury. In one message, Jackie told her friend that Erdely was on a “witch hunt” to find the man who attacked her and that she “never even fact checked things about that night with me.”

Jackie also said she agreed to speak with Erdely on the basis that the article would not center on her rape and did not realize some of her first interview comments would be published, AP reported.

“I was 20 years old and had no idea there was an off-the-record or an on-the-record,” said Jackie. “I was naive.”

But according to NBC 29, Jackie sent Erdely a text message days after the article was published, saying, “I thought the article was really great … I’m still slightly overwhelmed but thank you for everything…I hope this will do a lot of good amidst all the insanity right now.”

Jackie also said she had read part of Liz Securro’s 2011 book, “Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search for Justice,” NBC 29 reported. The story told in the book and Jackie’s story as reported in Rolling Stone have noticeable similarities, even by Securro, who was interviewed by ABC’s Amy Robach for 20/20 earlier this month.

Erdely, the Rolling Stone reporter, testified before the court several days over the past week.

On Saturday she recalled walking with Jackie past the fraternity house where Jackie said the gang rape occurred. Erdely said Jackie “broke down and had to leave,” NBC 29 reported.

“I knew it was genuine,” Erdely testified.

Two of Jackie’s friends mentioned in the article, Kathryn Hendley and Ryan Duffin, known as “Cindy” and “Randall” in the article, gave taped testimony on Monday, NBC 29 reported. Rolling Stone did not speak to either Hendley or Duffin for the article.

“Jackie had a tendency to fabricate things,” Hendley said. She later added, “I understand what it was like to be lied to by Jackie.”

Duffin said Jackie did not want to go to the police about her attack and spoke of “Haven Monahan,” a man Jackie claims took her to the fraternity house that night. Eramo’s lawyers found a Yahoo email account with the name created by Jackie, and believe she created the persona to pursue Duffin in a romantic relationship, NBC 29 reported.

The trial is expected to last through the week.

Eramo’s attorneys must prove Rolling Stone acted with “actual malice” in their writing, meaning they published what they knew was false, or with “reckless disregard” for the truth.

The post ‘Jackie’ of retracted Rolling Stone story says PTSD fogged memory appeared first on PBS NewsHour.