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The woman known only as "Jackie" who's at the center of a discredited Rolling Stone article said in a taped deposition that she told the truth about being gang raped at the University of Virginia — as she believed it at the time.
The 10 jurors in a university administrator's defamation suit against the magazine heard the woman's videotaped deposition for the first time Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Va.
In the deposition, which was recorded in April, "Jackie" repeatedly answers "I don't know" to lawyers' questions about the 2014 article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, in which she alleged that she was repeatedly assaulted at a fraternity house.
Rolling Stone retracted the article after police said they could find no evidence to substantiate it. The university administrator, Nicole Eramo — who was associate dean of students at the time — is seeking $7.5 million from Rolling Stone, which she says portrayed her as the villain.
"Jackie," whose identity hasn't been revealed, said in the deposition that she was uncomfortable being the focus of the article and that she considered declining to cooperate with the magazine, NBC station WVIR of Charlottesville reported.
She said several times that "some of the details are foggy" and that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I felt overwhelmed and stressed, and I felt like I was getting pressure from a lot of different people," she said in the tape, WVIR reported.
But asked by an attorney for Eramo whether she stands by her account, "Jackie" replied: "I stand by the account to Rolling Stone. I believe it to be true at the time."
In a statement Monday night, Rolling Stone highlighted that the woman said she "stands by the story," which it said it fact-checked with her over multiple days.
The magazine said her deposition proved that it did not publish the article with "actual malice," a legal term indicating that it knew or suspected that the article was probably false.