A defamation case filed against Rolling Stone—after the publication’s debunked article about a University of Virginia gang-rape was retracted—was thrown out by a judge late Tuesday. The case was filed by three former fraternity brothers—George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford, and Ross Fowler—who were not named or physically described in the story, which led the judge to rule that the personal details were “too vague and remote” to connect to them specifically. They claimed the piece caused them emotional distress and humiliation. “Jackie,” the reporter's source, described being raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. Police found no evidence to back up her claims, and a slew of other events led to Rolling Stone retracting the article. The author of the story and the magazine’s managing editor both apologized. U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said, “Their defamation claims are directed toward a report about events that simply did not happen.” The men are still considering the possibility of an appeal, a lawyer said.
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