On Wednesday, a judge tossed out a lawsuit that former fraternity members at the University of Virginia filed against Rolling Stone for defamation over an article that described a gang rape at their fraternity. The story was later discredited and Rolling Stone has since retracted it.
U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel cited comments as “speculation and hypothesis rather than fact,” according to The Associated Press. The three men who brought about the lawsuit were never mentioned by name in the Rolling Stone article, which depicted an alleged gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012. Nicole Eramo, the associate dean named in the story, has also filed a defamation suit against Rolling Stone.
The three men were members of Phi Kappa Psi in 2012, but have since graduated from UVA. In Judge Castel’s reasoning for dropping the case, he notes, “Their defamation claims are directed toward a report about events that simply did not happen.”