UVA Student Alex Pinkleton Chastises 'Rolling Stone' For Its "Sensationalized" Agenda — VIDEO
Following Rolling Stone's partial retraction of an explosive feature on rape at the University of Virginia, friends of "Jackie," the rape victim who's the main "character" in the magazine's piece, have spoken publicly in her defense. But while Jackie's friends and fellow UVA students support her story, they don't have very many kind words for Rolling Stone. In an interview with CBS News that aired on Wednesday, UVA student Alex Pinkleton criticized Rolling Stone for sensationalizing on-campus rape and sexual assault.
Pinkleton, who is also a rape survivor and was featured in the 9,000-word story, contends that the well-reputed national publication had an agenda, which ultimately hurt Jackie and other victims of sexual violence. She told CBS News that she was interviewed by Sabrina Rubin Erdely and asked about her own sexual assault. However, Pinkleton thinks the journalist used Jackie's story because she wanted something "that would have easily been sensationalized."
It's not hard to find a lot of survivors, and it's also not hard to find a lot of survivors that have stories that are more verifiable. I definitely believe Jackie was sexually assaulted. Since day one, anyone that was there the night of the friend's in the story — Andy, Cindy, Randall — they’ve all said she looked distraught. She said to them that she had been sexually assaulted and that part has been consistent.
CBS News also contacted Andy, who's referred to in the Rolling Stone story as one of the three friends who saw Jackie right after the alleged rape. In the article, Erdely describes Jackie as "barefoot" and "disheveled" after the alleged assault, her "face beaten" and "dress spattered with blood."
Similar to what Andy previously told The Washington Post, Andy said he doesn't remember Jackie having visible injuries, though he knew she was distraught. "I think more than anything I just want to know what happened that night before she came to us," Andy told CBS News.
Last Friday, The Post reported that Andy never spoke to Erdely — a claim he also told CBS News this week. According to The Post, Andy said he met Jackie not outside UVA's Phi Kappa Psi house, but in front of her dormitory. He believes Jackie was assaulted that night, but maybe not in the way that was described in Erdely's account.
Although the Rolling Stone feature is still being disputed, and Erdely has remained silent, UVA students continue to support Jackie's story. Jackie's first-year roommate, Emily Clark, recently published an open letter in UVA's student-run newspaper The Cavalier Daily, stating that she believes "wholeheartedly that [Jackie] went through a traumatizing sexual assault."
Clark also described Jackie's breakdown in December 2012, which is consistent with Erdely's story:
She was distraught, and only said she needed to go home. Her teachers had given her allowance to take her finals over break. At that point, we knew something big had happened. I didn’t know until this year with the publication of Rolling Stone’s article how bad that time was for her.
Images: CBS News, Getty Images