UVA fraternity to sue Rolling Stone over retracted campus rape story

Phi Kappa Psi could have a better shot at a lawsuit against the magazine after a damning Columbia journalism report

By Jenny Kutner
Published April 6, 2015 4:59PM (EDT)
  (AP/Steve Helber)
(AP/Steve Helber)

The fraternity implicated in Rolling Stone's infamous article "A Rape On Campus" is reportedly moving forward with plans to sue the magazine, according to CNN's Brian Stelter.

The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi says it plans to take "all available legal action" against Rolling Stone, which officially retracted the article following the release of a damning external Columbia University report that found massive journalistic failures.

"After 130 days of living under a cloud of suspicion as a result of reckless reporting by Rolling Stone magazine, today the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi announced plans to pursue all available legal action against the magazine," the fraternity said. The chapter's president, Stephen Scipione, added that he believes the magazine's failures are "a sad example of a serious decline of journalistic standards."

Legal analysts have debated whether or not individual members of the fraternity or the organization itself will be able to sue Rolling Stone for defamation, though it now appears Phi Kappa Psi will try no matter what. According to CNN's Danny Cavellos, the fraternity could be successful.

"The UVA situation is not your run-of-the-mill defamation case," Cavellos wrote on Monday. "The university won't be able to sue, but if the members of the fraternity can get past some of the preliminary hurdles of a defamation claim, and they can make a tangible case for damages, then this could be one of those rare successful defamation cases."

Jenny Kutner

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Fraternities Greek Life Lawsuit Phi Kappa Psi Rolling Stone University Of Virginia Uva