The identity of the female student who claimed to have been gang-raped by fraternity boys at the University of Virginia is still being kept secret, even though court papers say that she fabricated the entire smear.
It is possible “Jackie” invented the story as a way to gain the affection of fellow student, Ryan Duffin. Using what is known as “catfishing,” “Jackie” apparently invented an online character named “Haven Monahan” in order to induce jealousy in Duffin and eventually created the rape story to garner his sympathy.
To date, no mainstream media outlets have identified “Jackie.”
The Washington Post, an outlet that covered the story extensively, has declined to publish her name, citing a 2014 agreement with her. Mike Semel, Metro Editor of the Washington Post, said the agreement has to be maintained “until we are absolutely certain that there was no assault at all.”
Steve Coll, dean of the prestigious Columbia University School of Journalism, agrees that her name should still not be revealed. He told the Washington Post, “It’s an unusual situation, and I understand the argument on the other side, but I would not name her.” Coll said “Jackie” was not “responsible for the journalism mistakes” made by Rolling Stone magazine.
It is likely, however, given the court cases that will be moving forward, that her identity will eventually be known.
The bad reporting in Rolling Stone resulted in the magazine withdrawing the story, apologizing for publishing it, firing the managing editor, and being the target of several lawsuits by falsely accused victims of the smear.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse