The version of who Erin Andrews is now, versus who she was in 2008 are two different women. That year, the sportscaster was filmed through a self-made peephole. She was filmed naked in her hotel room, and the videos of her had circulated on the internet reaching over 17 million views to date. The man who pleaded guilty in this case was released from prison, but this was not enough to bring Andrews justice for the damage that was caused. Andrews is now suing the man who stalked her, a Marriott manager, and a Radisson Hotel manager in an ongoing $75 million trial for negligence.
In 2004, Andrews joined ESPN and covered a wide range of sports news. Throughout her career, she made a name for herself and eventually became one of the fewer, yet successful female faces in sports newcasting. She was known for her lively and outgoing personality through her work. Despite her growing career in the industry, she faced life changing events that will never be reversed, and difficult to overcome.
In 2008, Michael David Barrett filmed Andrews, who was unclothed, through a peephole in her hotel door and posted the video online. He requested a hotel room at the Marriott Hotel next to Andrews in Nashville, Tenn. who was assigned to cover a Vanderbilt University football game. Prior to Andrews’ Nashville stay, Barrett stated that he watched Andrews on ESPN and knew she was trending on Yahoo!. Barrett expressed he was not trying to embarrass her, but instead, he was in a financial situation and needed to make “easy money.”
Barrett’s request to have a room next to Andrews was denied, but he found another way to ensure that his second request was granted. He went to the hotel restaurant and used a phone that displayed room numbers when reached. He dialed the operator and was connected to her room, therefore displaying which room number was hers. He then made his way to the 10th-floor and saw that the room next to Andrews was being cleaned as if someone recently checked out. Barrett went back to the front desk and asked to have the specific room number, saying that it was being cleaned, and this time, his request was accepted as the front desk clerk verified it was ready.
Barrett reported in a video that was used in trial that the two rooms were in an alcove, therefore not being visible to guests in the hallway. When Andrews left her room, he removed and altered the peephole so it was removable. Later in the day, he heard the water running from Andrews’ shower and when he heard the shower turn off, he pressed his phone’s camera to the peephole and recorded her change into her clothes and developed a four-and-a-half minute video.
He tried selling the footage to TMZ, but they refused to purchase it. He decided to post the videos online, where it instantly went viral and currently has over 17 million views. He not only recorded Andrews at the Marriott in Nashville, but he further recorded her at a Radisson Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis., though this video never surfaced the internet.
Barrett was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 2, 2009, for the interstate stalking and pleaded guilty to these charges on Dec. 15, 2009. He was sentenced to serve 30 months at the Seattle Community Corrections. Barrett was released on July 3, 2012, and was on probation for three years, was required to pay $5,000 in fines and $7,366 in restitution.
The sportscaster was unaware of the video until months later when she was notified by her friend that it was on the internet. Barrett was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 2, 2009, for the interstate stalking and pleaded guilty to these charges on Dec. 15, 2009. He was sentenced to serve 30 months at the Seattle Community Corrections. Barrett was released on July 3, 2012, and was required to be on probation for three years. He also owed $5,000 in fines and $7,366 in restitution. Although he was released almost four years ago, Andrews is now suing the Marriott manager in the $75 Million stalker trial for negligence, as the hotel employee allowed Barrett’s request to stay in the room next to hers and reportedly did not ask questions why he needed that room.
Since the beginning of this case, Andrews and her family have expressed that the sportscaster, who is now working for Fox Sports, has struggled mentally. She faces depression, anxiety, and remains fearful. Her parents have stated that she needs “to find her smile again.” For these reasons, Andrews decided to sue the Marriott and also the Radisson Hotel in the $75 million stalker trial for damages caused by negligence and invasion of privacy. Simple protocol and instinctual precautions could have prevented the damage caused. Andrews will revisit this life changing event, but as the trial begins, she will hopefully be able to gain justice and finally move forward.
By Tricia Manalansan
Chicago Tribune: Erin Andrews says nude videos shot by stalker left her fearful, depressed
PageSix: Erin Andrews’ stalker revealed his creepy peephole techniques
WKRN-TV Nashville: Erin Andrews gives emotional testimony in Peeping Tom lawsuit
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