Rolling Stone sued again over rape story; managing editor steps down

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'A Rape on Campus' Still Causing Trouble for Rolling Stone

(NYMag) -- Four months ago, an independent review concluded that Rolling Stone's article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia was "a journalistic failure that was avoidable." The magazine retracted the story and apologized, but publisher Jann Wenner said no one involved in the story's publication would be fired. Now it appears Wenner may have rethought that stance; on Wednesday night, Rolling Stone revealed that Will Dana, who has served as managing editor since 2005, will depart on August 7. According to the New York Times, he is "not leaving for another job, and his successor has not be named."

When asked if Dana's exit has something to do the campus rape article, Wenner said "many factors go into a decision like this," but he also called Dana, "one of the finest editors I have ever worked with."

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Dana said in a statement, "After 19 years at Rolling Stone, I have decided that it is time to move on," adding, "It has been a great ride and I loved it even more than I imagined I would. I am as excited to see where the magazine goes next as I was in the summer of 1978 when I bought my first issue."

Earlier in the day, three former UVA fraternity members filed a lawsuit against Rolling Stone, Wenner Media, and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely for defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress, saying they suffered "vicious and hurtful attacks" due to the inaccurate November 2014 article. George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford and Ross Fowler are all 2013 graduates and former members of Phi Kappa Psi, where the attack reportedly took place. The suit alleges that the story had a "devastating effect" on the men's reputations, as the article "created a simple and direct way to match the alleged attackers." Their names were posted online and Elias' room was clearly "the mostly likely scene of the alleged crime." The suit says that after the story was published, "family friends, acquaintances, co-workers and reporters easily matched (Elias) as one of the alleged attackers and, among other things, interrogated him, humiliated him, and scolded him."

Hadford and Fowler say they faced a similar reaction. "Plaintiffs have each suffered emotional turmoil, were entirely unable to focus at work and in school following release of the article and are still being questioned often about the article's accusations," the lawsuit states. The men are seeking at least $75,000 in damages for each count. In May UVA associate dean of students Nicole Eramo filed a $7.85 million defamation lawsuit against the same three parties over the way she was portrayed in the article.

What went wrong in the Rolling Stone-UVa. story?

The Rolling Stone U-Va. Story: What Went Wrong

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