"CBS This Morning" has now spoken with the three friends of the victim of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house who were mentioned in a Rolling Stone article. The magazine has admitted it had mistakes in the story.
The accounts the friends gave to "CBS This Morning" were similar to each other, but very different from that of the victim, "Jackie," reports CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman. The article said the friends saw and spoke to Jackie the night of the alleged assault.
Alex, a third year student at UVA who asked we only use his first name, said he first read the piece not realizing he'd be a central figure in the Rolling Stone article.
"I, you know, slowly dawned on me that this was, you know, in fact, the story Jackie, you know, similar to the story Jackie had told me in some ways," Alex said.
Alex realized he was the "Andy" in the article identified as a friend of Jackie's who saw her after the incident in 2012.
In the article, Jackie is described as "shaking" and "bloody" after the alleged attack. The article says that, instead of seeking help, her friends "launched into a heated discussion about the social price of reporting Jackie's rape," fearing it might damage their reputations. Alex told "CBS This Morning" that account is false. He said while he's not hurt by the account, he is "a little confused."
"I mean, Jackie and I aren't really close. And I know that she, you know, is a very good storyteller. ... I wish I knew sort of why she decided to portray everybody who, you know, tried to help her as somehow horrible, sort of 'Animal House' frat boys. But, you know, I'm not sure," Alex said.
Alex says he does not remember Jackie appearing physically injured, but that he and another friend, identified as "Randall" in the article, stayed with her through the night at her request and encouraged her to get help.
"Randall" spoke with CBS News in silhouette under the condition that we not use his real name.
"It was pretty obvious she'd went through some kind of traumatic experience," Randall said. "She kept looking around like someone was going to jump out of the dark, and it was clear that she had been crying."
Alex and Randall said Jackie told them that she and her date for the evening had stopped at his fraternity house, and he invited her upstairs.
"When she got to that room, the door was locked, and she was forced to perform oral sex on five men who were in the room," Randall said.
Now, given the inconsistencies in the Rolling Stone story and his own experience with Jackie that night, Randall said he's not sure who or what to believe.
"The piece that doesn't fit for me is the way that she acted on the night of the incident. It all felt incredibly genuine," Randall said. "And that's the one thing that's out of place that's keeping me from saying that, 'Yes, I think that's what happened.'"
Alex, Randall and a third friend, "Cindy," said they were never contacted by Rolling Stone seeking their side of the story.
They are cooperating with the Charlottesville police investigation into what happened that night.
Despite repeated attempts for comment, Jackie's attorney, Rolling Stone and the article's author, Sabrina Erdely, have declined to provide a comment.
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