CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) – Text messages at the center of Rolling Stone magazine’s University of Virginia rapes story have revealed a possible motivation for the gang rape allegations.
This week, UVA administrator Nicole Eramo filed motions to gain access to communications between rolling Stone and a student known only as “Jackie.” The student’s 2014 account of a vicious gang rape at a fraternity house was later retracted. More than a year later, prosecutors said Jackie made up a fake persona in a bizarre attempt to earn the affection of a student named Ryan Duffin.
The story shocked the nation and ignited widespread discussion about assaults on campus.
“During the writing and editing of the article where the sources came into question, it came up that myself and Jackie’s other friends had never been contacted directly by Rolling Stone,” Duffin told 8News. “And they let that slide and let the article run anyway.”
More than two years before the magazine published Jackie’s false account of a fraternity gang rape in December 2014, Duffin, then a college freshman, began getting text messages from a Haven Monahan, someone he believed was a mutual friend of Jackie’s.
“Once reporters went in and investigated the evidence I had given to them, we found out the Haven Monahan character didn’t exist at UVA,” said Duffin, who now says he believes Jackie created Monahan as a competing love interest in a ploy to get Duffin to return her romantic advances.
When she reported she had been raped, Jackie told Rolling Stone that Monahan was the ring-leader in the attack.
“Reading through those (text) messages was more emotional than I could’ve expected,” Duffin said, “because knowing everything I know now with the article and reading back through makes me just wonder, ‘How did we get duped so badly?’”
Prosecutors said it appears that Jackie fabricated her perpetrator and the details of the alleged assault. Now a senior at UVA, Duffin said he is ready to put the entire ordeal behind him.
“I’m graduating in May and I’ll be moving onto a new life,” he told 8News. “I hope I can keep this part of my life at UVA and not have it extend past that.”
8News reached out to Jackie’s lawyers for comment, but they declined. At least three defamation suits have been filed related to the Rolling Stone article.