UVA Student in Rolling Stone Rape Story Reportedly Hires Attorney

Magazine also revises statement about discrepancies in her account of incident.

December 8, 2014, 4:19 PM

— -- The young woman at the center of Rolling Stone's story about sexual assaults at the University of Virginia reportedly has hired an attorney, as the magazine revised a statement issued last week that backtracked on the story.

The woman, called "Jackie," hired an attorney after details of her story about being gang raped by seven men at a fraternity party in September 2012 were questioned, Washington Post reporter T. Rees Shapiro told ABC News.

ABC News has reached out to the attorney she reportedly hired but has not received a reply.

"If Jackie allegedly lied and that perpetrator suffered injury as a result, she could be sued for damages," said Mark Eiglarsh, a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida.

Rolling Stone on Sunday clarified its earlier statement that said it regretted agreeing not to contact Jackie's alleged assailants, removing a line that said it had come "to the conclusion that our trust in her [Jackie] was misplaced."

The revised statement from managing editor Will Dana instead said, "These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie."

Said Eiglarsh, "If what Rolling Stone wrote about her was deemed false and could be proven to be false, and she suffered damages as a result, she could potentially sue Rolling Stone."

As Rolling Stone's statement shifted over the weekend, a woman claiming to have been Jackie's former suitemate described in a student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, how Jackie’s personality darkened after the alleged assault. She said Jackie would stay curled up in bed as her alarm rang rather than going to class and spent her days watching increasingly bleak TV programming before abruptly departing for her family home.

"While I cannot say what happened that night, and I cannot prove the validity of every tiny aspect of her story to you, I can tell you that this story is not a hoax, a lie or a scheme," the former suitemate wrote. "Something terrible happened to Jackie at the hands of several men who have yet to receive any repercussions."

Psi Kappa Phi -- the fraternity where Jackie said the rape took place -- said in a statement that no member of the fraternity worked as a lifeguard in the fall semester of 2012, as Jackie had claimed in the Rolling Stone story. It added that it did not have a date function or social event on the last weekend in September, though the article never specified the exact weekend when the alleged attack occurred.

The fraternity also contested the article's assertion that the alleged gang rape was part of a pledging task for prospective members. Psi Kappa Phi said that its pledging activities do not occur in the fall semester.

"Moreover, no ritualized sexual assault is part of our pledging or initiation process," according to the statement. "This notion is vile, and we vehemently refute this claim."

Shapiro told ABC News that Jackie's statements to him contradicted Rolling Stone's reporting.

"She said that maybe the party wasn't at Phi [Kappa] Psi and then she told me that maybe the person that attacked her wasn't a member of the fraternity at all," he said.

All campus fraternities were suspended after the story was released.

"The university remains first and foremost concerned with the care and support of our students and, especially, any survivor of sexual assault," UVA President Theresa Sullivan said in a statement Friday after Rolling Stone's original apology.

In a statement today, the school said it will reinstate Greek activities on Jan. 9.

ABC News' Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.

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