Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews broke down in tears as she appeared in a courtroom Monday in Tennessee to testify in a case in which she was secretly videotaped by a stalker as she undressed in hotel rooms.
“Andrews has filed a $75 million lawsuit against her stalker, Michael David Barrett, and the owner and manager of the Marriott Vanderbilt in Nashville, one of the hotels where she was recorded,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “She claims the hotel allowed her stalker to request and rent the room next to hers, allowing him to record her. The hotel has denied any responsibility for Barrett’s actions.”
The case stems from events that took place in 2008, when Andrews worked for ESPN. Videos of Andrews in the hotel rooms were later posted online and widely circulated, and Andrews testified that she has been unable to put the incident behind her.
Andrews, who currently hosts “Fox College Football” for Fox Sports and is a co-host on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” is quoted by The Washington Post testifying that she wanted to be “the girl next door who loved sports.” Tearfully, she added: “And now I’m the girl with a hotel scandal.”
The Times quotes Andrews testifying: “This could have been stopped. The Nashville Marriott could have just called me and said ‘We’re putting this man that requested to be next to you, is this OK?’ and I would have called the cops and we would have gotten him. It could have stopped this.”
The Times adds: “Barrett, who later pleaded guilty to stalking charges and served more than 2 1/2 years in prison, said in recorded depositions that he taped Andrews undressing at hotels in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, in 2008.”
Barrett has said he did it for money, targeting Andrews because she was trending online.
The Post story reports: “The video incident was the worst offense in a litany of sexist affronts to Andrews during her career as a sideline reporter: endless commentary on her appearance, dismissive remarks by other sports reporters.”
According to Deadspin, Andrews testified that after the video came out, she was pressured by ESPN to do an interview and talk about her stalker to prove that it wasn’t a publicity stunt.