Erin Andrews’ Father And Therapist Testify In Civil Suit Against Her Stalker

Erin Andrews called her father, Steve Andrews, in tears on a Thursday night in July 2009. Portland NBC affiliate KGW reports that Mr. Andrews testified about that phone call before a Nashville jury on Wednesday. It was day three of Erin’s civil trial. Steve Andrews testified for about an hour and spoke about daughter Erin crying and screaming into the phone, saying, “I’m naked on the internet.”

Erin Andrews was videotaped by a stalker while staying at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University in 2008. Her father testified that the confident woman she was before the release of the video transformed into an Erin who was so fearful that she hung blankets over her windows and dreaded crowds, a real problem for a sportscaster. Page Six quotes Mr. Andrews as saying,

“My daughter has been scared for eight years. Eight years she has been terrified that there’s something else out there. That there’s someone else looking for her.

“She’s mad. She’s scared. She’s terrified. She’s depressed. She cries. She’s full of anxiety. She’s a very, very changed person. She’s not the girl that we used to know at all.”

Andrews is suing West End Partners (who owns the Marriott), Windsor Capital Group (the management firm), and her stalker, Michael David Barrett. She is charging West End Partners and Windsor Capital Group with negligence and is asking for $75 million because the Marriott allowed her stalker to find out which room she was staying in and then booked him in the room next to hers.

Erin’s father recalled reading the FBI account of what happened. Mr. Andrews said the report indicated that Barrett called the hotel and asked if Erin was staying there. When they confirmed that she was, he asked for the room next to her and they granted his request. Barrett unscrewed the peephole on Erin’s door and stood outside her door for over four minutes filming the video. Mr. Andrews testified that when he learned the details of the filming, “I thought to myself, if this guy had been a killer, she’d be dead.”

Erin Andrews’ stalker lives in Oregon and was sentenced to 30 months in jail for interstate stalking in 2010. Erin’s father recalled the relief he felt when they got the call in 2009 that he had been found. It was the night before Erin returned to ESPN. He was released in 2012.

Erin Andrews’ father also addressed comments some had made that the video was a publicity stunt coordinated by his daughter. He testified that his first response when seeing the video at the request of the FBI was to vomit. He continued,

“Let me tell you something. Erin Andrews didn’t need more attention, and she certainly didn’t want attention like that.”

ABC affiliate WKRN-TV of Nashville reports that IT expert Dr. Bernard Jansen estimates that at least 16 million people have viewed the video of Erin Andrews. It’s watched by someone every 1.5 minutes. The video of Andrews was shown to the jury. She left the courtroom during the viewing.

Erin saw therapist Loren Comstock from March 2012 to April 2013. Comstock has been an executive leadership coach and consultant with the Sigma Group for 17 years. She is also a licensed social worker. She described Andrews as “distressed, humiliated, and panicked” about the video. News of her stalker’s release from prison triggered her trauma again and she became “depressed, anxious, obsessive, irritable and reactive.”

She has diagnosed Erin with adjustment disorder and some symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome. She testified that Andrews “couldn’t get through the day without fear and anxiety and checking the Internet for articles about her, comments about her… She would wake up in the morning worrying about what would come out that day, what she would be caught off guard by.”

The trial is expected to continue for up to two weeks.

[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]