Erin Andrews’ $75 Million Stalking Lawsuit Against Nashville Marriott Begins
Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews is suing the Nashville Marriott for $75 million in damages for negligence, emotional distress, and invasion of privacy, according to the Washington Post. This lawsuit comes after a man, Michael David Barrett, stalked her in 2008, fixing a camera to the peephole in her hotel room door and posting videos of Andrews, now 37, changing clothes online. The Nashville Marriott hotel is being held responsible, as well as its parent company, Barrett and Windsor Capital Group.
Erin Andrews, at the time the videos were uploaded online, was employed with ESPN and was in Nashville for a football game. Barrett was arrested on October 2, 2009, and pleaded guilty to stalking, with a sentence of 30 months in prison. He served his sentence at the Seattle Community Corrections, being released in July of 2012.
Barrett had followed Andrews through three different cities, reserving hotel rooms next to her each time. Erin first filed the lawsuit over four years ago, and originally listed Marriott International as a defendant. However, her claim against Marriott was dismissed in January by Circuit Court Judge Hamilton Gayden, with the hotel company claiming that they were not responsible for security.
“As we have maintained since this matter first came to our attention, however, Marriott International was not responsible for what happened to Ms. Andrews, and we are pleased that the Court has dismissed Marriott International from the case,” according to a statement released by the hotel company. “Marriott International continues to be sensitive to the serious nature of this matter and remains committed to the safety and comfort of our guests.”
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) February 22, 2016
At this point, there doesn’t seem to be any incontrovertible evidence that shows the Nashville Marriott hotel being actively involved with Michael David Barrett’s stalking and invasion of privacy. Erin will have to prove that the hotel had a role to play in the videos being filmed and/or released onto the internet, and it is unlikely that she will be able to do so. In the lawsuit, Andrews claims that the hotel employees were talking with Michael Barrett, giving him the dates she would be at any given hotel. Erin even enlisted the help of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in 2011, in an attempt to enact a new federal anti-stalking law.
“I don’t think he’s even had a traffic ticket,” said Barrett’s lawyer, Rick Beuke, in 2009. “He’s as regular a guy as you’ll ever meet – a great friend,” said the attorney, who said he had known Barrett for a decade. “I must have calls from 30 people wanting to know what they could do to help.”
Erin Andrews, in 2010, told the Washington Post, “the public needs to learn about stalking. I had no idea just how serious this crime was until it affected my life.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 18, 2016
Erin Andrews was first employed by Fox Sports Florida as a freelance reporter in 2000. In 2004, she began working with ESPN as a reporter for ESPN National Hockey Night. Erin’s career began to expand, serving as a sideline reporter for ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime and Big Ten college basketball games. In 2005, she began sideline reporting for ESPN College Football Thursday Primetime and Major League Baseball. It was in 2012 that Erin Andrews left ESPN to work for Fox Sports, becoming the first host of Fox College Football’s studio show.
The civil trial begins Monday in a Nashville courtroom, and the trial should last a little over a week. It will be heard before Gayden and jury selection begins at 9 a.m. Monday, February 22.
[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]