Court orders ‘Jackie’ deposed in Rolling Stone lawsuit

Jackie faces Rolling Stone and Nicole Eramo's lawyers. Jackie faces Rolling Stone and Nicole Eramo’s lawyers.

In UVA former associate dean Nicole Eramo’s ongoing lawsuit with Rolling Stone, Judge Glen Conrad ruled Monday that Jackie’s request to prevent her deposition would be denied and she is scheduled for at least seven hours of depositions today.

Former UVA student “Jackie,” who claimed she was gang raped at a fraternity party in Rolling Stone’s now discredited article “A Rape on Campus,” has been fighting subpoenas in the legal battle Eramo, whose title at UVA is now listed as executive director of assessment and planning, filed last May. Eramo’s defamation suit seeks $7.5 million from Rolling Stone and the article’s author, Sabrina Erdely.

In a court document, Jackie opposed the deposition of her doctor as well as herself on the grounds that “the severe harm” she would suffer  “greatly outweighs the limited utility of such discovery in light of the real issues in this case.”

Additionally, Jackie’s lawyers argued that Eramo’s actions in the case were “harmful” and described her as using “aggressive attacks” against Jackie in both the media and the court.

“Plaintiff’s conduct in this case has done more to damage her reputation and discredit any claim she may have had to being a compassionate counselor and advocate of sexual assault victims than any magazine article,” the motion reads.

While the court granted that Jackie’s psychologist would “not be deposed or otherwise subjected to discovery” at this time, Jackie herself will be deposed on April 7 at a “mutually convenient location” that is not being publicly disclosed.

Eramo and Rolling Stone’s attorneys will each get to question Jackie for 3.5 hours. Eramo had requested additional time, and may depose Jackie a total of five hours over two days, and request more time from the court. Any recordings or transcripts of the deposition will be confidential.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says attorney Dave Heilberg. “It’s a civil case and discovery is getting a lot more attention” than other cases.

And because Jackie never reported her alleged assault to police—Charlottesville Police investigated and found no evidence of the assault she described to Rolling Stone—she does not have the same protections of a victim in a crime that was prosecuted, says Heilberg.