The New York Times said Friday it didn't intend to make readers think it was challenging a woman's claim that she was raped at the Kennedy family estate in Florida when it published a profile that named her.
In an editor's note on page 3 of Friday's editions, The Times said the April 17 story "should have explicitly asserted that nothing in the woman's known background could resolve the disputed testimony about her encounter with Mr. Smith.""The Times regrets its failure to include such a clear statement of the article's limits and intent," the newspaper said.
The newspaper also published on page 14 a lengthy story on the debate the original story inspired.
The Times was among several news organizations to name the woman after the NBC Nightly News broadcast her identity and photograph on April 16. Identifying her set off a debate over whether the media should shield rape victims from public scrutiny.
The Associated Press has not identified the woman and only identifies rape victims in extraordinary cases.
The woman told police she was raped March 30 by William Kennedy Smith, the nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, at the family's Palm Beach, Fla., estate. Smith has denied the accusation.