Erin Andrews Awarded $55 Million in Lawsuit Against Marriott and Radisson
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Back in 2008, ESPN sportscaster and public figure Erin Andrews stayed at the Nashville Marriott in Tennessee. Things were looking good for Ms. Andrews, and she had just started taking on ABC’s live reporting for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Unbeknownst to her at the time, a man by the name of Michael David Barrett secretly filmed her through a peephole in her hotel room when she was undressing to take a shower. The same thing happened again at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In July of 2009, one of the videos Mr. Barrett took was posted online and went viral. Ms. Andrews was understandably embarrassed, humiliated, shaken, and was thrown comments every time she went anywhere public. Suddenly, her work wasn’t about the game anymore, but about her. Her body, her sexuality, and her character. People stopped her on the street, made unprofessional comments, and she withdrew from being the easygoing woman that she had been previously.
Ms. Andrews was completely nude in the video, and Mr. Barrett was arrested in October 2009 by the FBI for stalking, and plead guilty. Authorities also found a second film on his computer of Ms. Andrews nude, which thankfully didn’t surface online. Mr. Barrett admitted that he took the videos to sell and make money off of.
Ms. Andrews sued Mr Barrett, Marriott International and Radisson Hotels, among others. In her lawsuit, she claimed that Mr. Barrett called the hotels in advance, asked what rooms she would be staying in along with the dates, and was given the information by Marriott and Radisson employees. He then requested and was granted the rooms right next to hers, where he rigged up a peephole.
Ms. Andrews was shocked to discover that not only did she have to deal with the humiliation of knowing that she had been seen undressing and nude on the internet by over 17 million viewers, rumors swirled that she had arranged it herself as a publicity stunt. She says that ESPN even made her do an on-air interview about the incident once it was determined that it couldn’t be swept under the rug.
To make matters worse, there were reports that Marriott executive Neal Peskind was caught showing off the video to his buddies, making derogatory remarks about her body, making fun of her, and complaining how much the lawsuit was costing him.
She told the Washington Post that “all she wanted was to be the girl next door who loved sports, and is now the girl with the hotel scandal”.
Here’s a video clip from her testimony –
I cannot imagine how awful an ordeal this must have been (and still is) for Ms. Andrews. Although I haven’t watched the video (and won’t), authorities have been unsuccessful in removing the video from the internet and it garners more and more views daily.
March 7, 2016 a jury awarded Erin Andrews $55 million.
Rather than paraphrase the information Marriott has released, here are the facts according to Marriott’s website –
What do you think about the lawsuit? Do you think that $55 million was appropriate?
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