Rolling Stone story on U-Va.
Protesters at the University of Virginia’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house last month. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

The Rolling Stone story by Sabrina Rubin Erdely titled “A Rape on Campus,” alleging a September 2012 gang-rape of a then-freshman student named Jackie, was published Nov. 19.

Several weeks later, it appears, the magazine is attempting to report it out.

Three students who came to Jackie’s aid on the night of her alleged attack have now put their names to their statements about the events, as a new story by the Washington Post notes. These folks were identified pseudonymously in the Rolling Stone story — as “Cindy,” “Andy” and “Randall.” It was difficult to determine from the magazine’s story just how much effort it had expended to secure input from them. The trio told The Post that they hadn’t spoken to Rolling Stone for the piece.

Until quite recently, that is. Two of them told T. Rees Shapiro that a “Rolling Stone reporter” had contacted them following a Post story this week. The other said she hadn’t heard from the magazine as of midday Friday. This news is at once incriminating and encouraging — the former because the magazine could have taken this step before publishing an execrable piece of journalism, the latter because it’s apparently trying to audit itself.

Is that “Rolling Stone reporter” Erdely? “No, it was somebody else,” Alexander Stock (“Andy” in the Rolling Stone piece) tells the Erik Wemple Blog.

These three students spoke up about the incident to straighten out discrepancies between what Rolling Stone reported about that night and what they say they experienced. Another motive appears to have been to clear their names, even if they were identified only pseudonymously in the original article. “Cindy,” whom the Post now reveals as Kathryn Hendley, is described in the story as a “self-declared hookup queen” and is indirectly quoted as saying something terrible about Jackie’s alleged gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. “‘Why didn’t you have fun with it?’ Cindy asked. ‘A bunch of hot Phi Psi guys?’ ” — that’s how Erdely phrased things, without ever having contacted “Cindy”/Hendley, who told Shapiro that she was “offended” by the characterization. And all this happened in a story purporting to highlight the mistreatment of women.