A federal jury awarded a University of Virginia associate dean $3 million in damages on Friday for Rolling Stone magazine’s portrayal of the administrator in its 2014 “A Rape on Campus” story that was later retracted. The 10 jurors determined the story’s author Sabrina Erdely, the magazine, and its publisher acted with “actual malice” and were liable for defaming UVA dean for sexual violence issues, Nicole Eramo. Erdely was ordered to pay $2 million and Rolling Stone $1 million.
Eramo had asked the court for $7.5 million after the publication of the 9,000-word article on sexual assault at the university had essentially ended her career. “U-Va. reassigned her from her duties counseling students on matters involving sexual violence and that she felt adrift on the campus she had called home for 20 years,” according to the Washington Post. “Eramo said that she received hundreds of vitriolic email messages and that in her darkest moment she considered suicide… Eramo also testified that while she was dealing with the fallout of the Rolling Stone article she received a cancer diagnosis.”