Update: After a jury verdict, Andrews has been awarded $55 million in the suit.
Sports journalist Erin Andrews is currently suing the Marriott Nashville at Vanderbilt for $75 million after the hotel gave access to her stalker, who used a peephole to film her while she undressed. He later posted the footage to YouTube.
This is a summation of the situation, as reported by the Entreprenuer:
“In 2008, Andrews checked into The Nashville Marriott to cover the Vanderbilt football game. Michael David Barrett, a man who had been stalking Andrews, called the hotel and asked what room Andrews was staying in. He was provided with the room number, allowing him to book the room next to her, rig her peephole, and record her undressing. He later uploaded the footage to the Internet where it has been viewed more than 300 million times.”
The trial is in its second day of testimony; Andrews has said that she feels “embarrassed…humiliated…mortified,” by what has happened to her and the way she has been treated by ESPN. The network “insisted that she must discuss the incident on national television if she wished to return to her broadcasting duties.”
During Tuesday’s testimony, the Marriott’s attorney, Marc Dedman, attempted to argue that the videos published by Barrett did nothing to harm Andrews’s career. Reporter Stacey Barchenger was tweeting from the courtroom. She notes that Dedman specified “[Andrews’s] endorsements for Reebok, Degree deodorant, Florida orange juice, Mountain Dew…[and] commercial for Victoria’s Secret.”
To suggest that nude videos filmed by a stalker without her consent and viewed 300 million times in no way affected Andrews’s career is an appalling tactic. However, as Deadspin points out, “It’s part of a two-pronged strategy, with the other half being Marriott’s claim that while Barrett (who has served two and a half years in prison) recorded Andrews without her permission, the hotel can’t be held responsible.”
Andrews's father has said the experience irrevocably changed her life: “This was about the worst thing that could have happened to her from the perspective of self-pride, comfort in the way you look.”
No matter what the Marriott attempts to convey during the trial, it was their irresponsible behavior that led to the incident—Andrews has to deal with the ramifications for the rest of her life.
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