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Former UVA Student Whose Fraternity Is Named In Discredited Story Hires Lawyer

As Rolling Stone apologizes for "discrepancies" in its blockbuster campus rape story, BuzzFeed News has confirmed that former Phi Kappa Psi member Christopher Pivik has retained a lawyer who specializes in fighting back against sexual assault accusations.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Christopher Pivik, a former member of Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Virginia, has retained attorney Andrew Miltenberg, a lawyer who has represented at least two dozen men found responsible for sexual misconduct at their colleges, BuzzFeed News has learned.

Pivik, an analyst at Signal Hill in Boston, graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Miltenberg confirmed Pivik was his client but declined to comment further. In an interview, he lambasted a recent Rolling Stone story centered on an alleged gang-rape at Phi Kappa Psi.

"This was extremely irresponsible reporting. It fueled an already highly polarizing issue, and did nothing to help foster or continue a productive dialogue," Miltenberg said.

In the piece, investigative journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdley tells the story of Jackie, who said she was gang-raped by seven men at a Phi Kappa Psi party in September 2012, when she was 18. None of the men are named in the story, except Jackie's date, "Drew" — not his real name — a fellow lifeguard who allegedly "gave instruction and encouragement."

The magazine issued a statement saying "there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account," following a week of stories from The Washington Post, Slate, and others calling the reporting of the story into question. Erdley, for example, did not reach out to the men allegedly involved in the rape.

Rolling Stone subsequently was the subject of a Columbia Journalism School investigation and retracted the story. Meanwhile, the university reinstated the fraternity and Charlottesville police suspended their investigation into Jackie's account without filing charges. A defamation trial against the magazine is set to begin Monday.

BuzzFeed reached out to a woman believed to be Jackie multiple times but did not receive a response.

UPDATE

This post has been updated to reflect Rolling Stone retracting the article and police suspending the investigation.

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