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Three friends of the University of Virginia student who told Rolling Stone magazine that she was gang-raped at a fraternity party have raised additional questions about the young woman’s account.
In the magazine account, the woman, identified as Jackie, described the three friends as indifferent when she emerged from the party beaten and bloody. She said that they fretted that her reporting the assault would damage their social standing.
The three friends sharply disputed that account in interviews with The Washington Post. They said that they sought to find her help, asked her whether she wanted to go to the police and never discussed social status.
One of the friends, identified in both Rolling Stone and The Washington Post as Randall, said that Jackie “had very clearly just experienced a horrific trauma.” “If she was acting on the night of Sept. 28, 2012,” he said, “then she deserves an Oscar.”
The friends said that Jackie told them she had been forced to perform oral sex on five men at the party. In the account to Rolling Stone, she described being gang-raped by seven men.
Rolling Stone apologized last week for “discrepancies” in the article. The magazine never interviewed the men alleged to be Jackie’s attackers, and the three friends told The Washington Post that the magazine had not interviewed them, either.
A lawyer for Jackie said in a statement Wednesday that the ordeal had been “overwhelming and retraumatizing” for the woman. The lawyer did not respond to a request for comment about the friends’ account to The Post.