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Emotional day for UVA’s Eramo and Rolling Stone’s Erdely as trial continued

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The defamation lawsuit brought against Rolling Stone magazine by UVA administrator Nicole Eramo continued into its second day.

Eramo, who was serving as associate dean of students at the time of the article, is seeking $7.85 million. In an interview that aired Friday on ABC News, she said the story changed her life.

On Tuesday, according to sister station Newsplex, Eramo cried as author Sabrina Erdely talked about her article, "A Rape On Campus."

Eramo filed her lawsuit against Erdely, Rolling Stone and the magazine's publisher, Wenner Media. In a statement, Rolling Stone acknowledged the mistakes in its reporting, but said it looks forward "to telling the jury the full story."

"As this trial begins, it's important to remember that Rolling Stone and our reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely firmly believed in the credibility of Jackie, as did UVA and Dean Eramo, when the Article was published," the statement said. "We made journalistic mistakes with respect to Jackie's story, and we have learned from them. Up until now, only one side of the story has been presented."

Attorneys for Eramo want the jury to focus on the failures of the Rolling Stone editorial team and not on "Jackie" and her alleged rape, according to Newsplex.

Jurors were asked to focus on five key points by Eramo's team.

First, Eramo took Jackie to meet with police about her alleged attack.

Second, Rolling Stone knew about Eramo's efforts to get Jackie to report the gang rape to police.

The third point claims that Rolling Stone did not verify key facts of the story about the incident that reportedly had occurred at a UVA fraternity party.

Then, the fourth point is that Rolling Stone pushed Jackie to report the story, and then blamed her.

The final point is the adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words. This references an image of Eramo that was used in the article that she claims was edited to portray her in a defamatory way.

Eramo's attorneys asked that the jury find Rolling Stone defamed Eramo specifically and as a whole with the article.

Scott Sexton, representing Rolling Stone, said the jurors need to decide if the article was published with "actual malice," a requirement for proving defamation in court.

Sexton says it wasn't. He adds that Rolling Stone and Erdely firmly believed their story was true until Dec. 5, 2014, when Erdely told her editors she has lost confidence in Jackie.

He says that of the 11 statements Eramo's attorneys claim defame their client, only four actually refer to Eramo, according to Newsplex. The others refer to UVA administration.

According to Eramo's testimony, much of the gang rape depicted in the article had not been conveyed to her by Jackie.

Eramo said in court that the backlash was immediate and negative, with protests and even death threats.

"It just seemed to be going completely viral, and I didn't know what to do," she said. "I felt alone and scared."

The trial is scheduled to last two weeks. Later on, the jury will see a videotape of Jackie's deposition.

Continue reading on Newsplex.