Rolling Stone's blockbuster story about an alleged gang rape at UVa's Phi Psi house has all but fallen apart after questions about the reporting process and a bullshit, blanket denial from Phi Psi forced the magazine to disavow its source's account of gang rape. The source and alleged victim, Jackie, is sticking by her story, but managing editor Will Dana's note that Rolling Stone's "trust in her was misplaced" has left her hanging out to dry. Now Jackie's old roommate, Emily Clark, is defending her in the student paper.
Clark writes to her fellow students in The Cavalier Daily, "My name is Emily, and I was Jackie's suitemate first year. I am writing to you in regards to Rolling Stone's recent statement of 'misplaced trust' in Jackie. I feel this statement is backwards, as it seems it was Jackie who misplaced her trust in Rolling Stone."
I fully support Jackie, and I believe wholeheartedly that she went through a traumatizing sexual assault. I remember my first semester here, and I remember Jackie's. Jackie came to UVA bright, happy and bubbly. She was kind, funny, outgoing, friendly, and a pleasant person to be around. That all notably changed by December 2012, and I wasn't the only one who noticed. Our suite bonded that first semester and talked many times about the new troubles we were facing in college. Jackie never mentioned anything about her assault to us until much later. But I, as well as others, noticed Jackie becoming more and more withdrawn and depressed. ...
In December 2012, Jackie broke down. All of a sudden she was going home and none of us knew why. It was right before finals, and I couldn't believe she was leaving. She was distraught, and only said she needed to go home. Her teachers had given her allowance to take her finals over break. At that point, we knew something big had happened. I didn't know until this year with the publication of Rolling Stone's article how bad that time was for her.
Sometime that year I remember her letting it slip to me that she had had a terrible experience at a party. I remember her telling me that multiple men had assaulted her at this party. She didn't say anything more. It seemed that was all she'd allow herself to say. I wish I had done something sooner. I wish I had known how to help. But I applaud Jackie for telling her story, now two years later. It was a story that needed to be told.
Clark then adds, "While I cannot say what happened that night, and I cannot prove the validity of every tiny aspect of her story to you, I can tell you that this story is not a hoax, a lie or a scheme. Something terrible happened to Jackie at the hands of several men who have yet to receive any repercussions."
Dana has since amended his note to remove the language about "misplaced trust" in Jackie. The statement now says Rolling Stone was "mistaken in honoring Jackie's request to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account" and that "these mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie."
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