Erin Andrews, Fox Sports commentator and current co-host of Dancing with the Stars, has amended her pending lawsuit against Marriott International for their role in allowing a stalker to videotape her nude in her hotel room back in 2008. She is reportedly asking for $75 million in damages, according to court documents filed October 13 and posted at the Smoking Gun.
Andrews’ stalker, insurance salesman Michael David Barrett, is serving a 30-month sentence in prison after being found guilty of felony stalking in December 2009. He filmed Erin Andrews through the peephole of her Tennessee hotel room and uploaded nude video clips of her on the internet.
Andrews filed the lawsuit against Marriott International for their role in allowing Barrett to commit his crime. First, confirming to him she was staying at the hotel, then giving Barrett her room number, followed by allowing Barrett to stay in the room next to Andrews after displaying stalker behavior. On Tuesday, Erin amended her Marriott International lawsuit in Nashville Circuit Court seeking the whopping $75 million award for the embarrassment that she says will be with her for life.
Erin Andrews’ stalker is behind bars, and her career is going strong, so why does she continue the fight to hold everyone accountable? Andrews talked with Marie Claire magazine in 2011 about the immediate effects of such a devastating invasion of privacy, which her lawsuit claims continues to some degree today.
“The day that I got the phone call that this was on the internet, I didn’t want to get undressed. I didn’t change my clothes for two or three days. I was so screwed up. I was disgusted with myself; I was disgusted with my body, with being naked, and that everybody saw that it was me. I stopped going to my gym for six or seven months because I was afraid of people seeing me working out. I had this mind-set of, ‘Oh, my gosh, everybody’s seen me naked and they’re going to think to themselves, She should be so embarrassed.'”
Us Magazine reports that some of Erin Andrews’ colleagues, as well as her former romantic and dance partner, will be testifying in support of her case against the hotel chain. Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who was Andrews’ Season 10 partner during her Dancing with the Stars finalist appearance, is set to be a witness. ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Craig James are also stepping up to the plate to support Andrews.
The civil trial is set for next February, and the amendment is in response to defense lawyers for the plaintiffs seeking a court order demanding Erin Andrews ask for specific monetary damages, calling her claims “unreasonably vague and ambiguous,” according to the Smoking Gun. The amendment asking for $75 million should now make things crystal clear to Marriott and Barrett, who is also named in the lawsuit.
Erin Andrews has moved on with her career and personal life, and rarely speaks publicly about the lawsuit today, but the Marie Claire interview gives some insight on why she is still fighting, seven years after her ordeal began.
“When someone embarrasses me publicly the way this guy did, I feel I have no choice but to fight back. And at the time everything happened, I got a ton of letters from women who were stalking victims. People had set up video cameras in their homes, whether it was a neighbor or a handyman. The videos were on the Internet, and the women couldn’t get them down or get these guys arrested. They said, ‘First, we want to welcome you to the sorority. But we also want to tell you to please fight this — you’re our voice.’ I had to.”
[Image via Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]