The woman known as Jackie who shocked the world with her lurid tale of being gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity party doesn't want to answer any more questions as part of a lawsuit.
Filed by U.Va.'s associate dean of students, Nicole Eramo, the lawsuit alleges Rolling Stone Magazine, which published the false rape story, defamed her when it accused her of being cruel to sexual assault accusers. In late January, a judge ordered Jackie to turn over any and all communications between her and Eramo, as well as between her and the author of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, that related to her accusation.
A judge has given Eramo's attorneys seven hours to depose Jackie, but because of the sheer volume of communications between her and Erdely, and the fact that Eramo would have to share the time with Rolling Stone's attorneys, the U.Va. dean is asking for another three hours. Naturally, Jackie and her attorney don't want to talk anymore, and Jackie especially doesn't want to talk about her rape claims.
Jackie wants mention of her sexual assault claims excluded from the deposition. Eramo's lawyers have said that would be fine — if Jackie admits she lied about the gang rape. Evidence uncovered after the Rolling Stone article was published, as well as a statement from local police, proved that the accusation described in the article could not have happened.
Jackie's lawyer maintains in a motion to quash the deposition subpoena that the woman who was proven to have lied to Rolling Stone and the world is, in fact, a "sexual assault victim," and therefore entitled to compassion. They say each of Eramo's requests are a "negative attack" on Jackie, which demonstrate "a complete lack of compassion for" her.
The attorney also claims Eramo wants to "use the deposition as a weapon to inflict as much harm on [Jackie] as possible, with utter disregard for the significant and undeniable psychological harm that will result and without regard to the actual asserted claims in the case." Jackie and her attorney also claimed that she will "suffer if forced to answer questions about the trauma she suffered and the aftermath" of her accusation.
Sorry, but Jackie's feelings don't matter any more. She made false accusations and created a false narrative that seriously harmed many innocent people. Also, as K.C. Johnson (author of the book on the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax) noted on Twitter: "Can 'trauma' result from an assault that never occurred?"
Jackie's attorney also claims in the motion that because the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights condemned U.Va. for violating the Title IX anti sex-discrimination statute, what was said of Eramo in the Rolling Stone article must be true.
The attorney says that Eramo just wants to use Jackie's deposition "to extract money from Rolling Stone for reporting opinions about [Jackie] that the Office of Civil Rights [sic] has already independently concluded to be true."
But this is a wildly generous reading of OCR's finding. For starters, OCR bends over backwards to find schools in violation as part of a political agenda, which leads to the agency contradicting itself in its findings. Activists insist that accusers should be able to dictate the direction of the investigation (as far as whether they want to proceed or not). In finding U.Va. in violation of Title IX, OCR cited the school for not proceeding with investigations in cases where the accusers didn't want them to.
Eramo was also knocked (though not by name in OCR's report) for saying on a radio program that campus hearing panels are not really comfortable with expelling someone if they are only 51 percent sure (known as a preponderance of evidence) sure the accused is guilty. OCR claimed this honest statement created a "hostile environment" for U.Va. students.
This is not the same as Eramo allegedly callously dismissing Jackie's claims when she reported them years ago by saying no one wanted to go to a "rape school."
Jackie's claim in her motion, that her claims in Rolling Stone were accurate because Eramo did create a hostile environment, are undermined by a letter she posted in the Cavalier Daily defending Eramo. Jackie said Eramo "truly saved my life," yet now is maintaining her description of Eramo's callousness in the article was accurate.
Jackie's attorney makes multiple demands for the deposition, such as written questions in advance, "a safe and controlled environment" with as many breaks as she wants. Jackie also demands the deposition be sealed so the media cannot quote from it.
The same Jackie who told an untrue story to the media now wants the media to leave her alone.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.