Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million on Monday as compensation for a nude video that was posted online in 2009. Michael David Barrett secretly recorded video of Andrews through a peephole at the Nashville Marriott hotel in 2008. More than four years ago, Erin Andrews sued Barrett and Marriott International for invasion of privacy. Andrews originally asked for $75 million but was ultimately awarded only $55 million. According to TMZ on Sunday, Andrews will likely not even see half that amount.
Barrett has already served a two-and-a-half year sentence in the Seattle Community Justice Center Department of Corrections for pleading guilty to federal interstate stalking charges. In 2012, Barrett was released from custody after serving time for following Erin Andrews to the Nashville Marriott hotel at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2008. Andrews was staying at the Nashville Marriott to attend a Thursday night football game at Vanderbilt University.
The New York Times reports that Barrett called the Nashville Marriott hotel asking if Andrews was staying there. Barrett, who was 46 at the time, then requested a room next to Andrews, where he used a hacksaw to compromise a peephole large enough to fit a video camera. On the night of September 4, 2008, Barrett secretly recorded Erin Andrews in the nude as she showered and dressed for the football game. That four-minute video clip, in which Andrews appears completely nude, was posted online in 2009 and quickly went viral.
“This could’ve been stopped,” said Andrews. “The Nashville Marriott could’ve just called me and said, ‘We’re putting this man that requested to be next to you, is this O.K.?’ And I would’ve called the cops and we would’ve gotten him. I’m so angry. I’m so mad.”
Andrews claims her life was ruined because of the video and sued Barrett, as well as West End Hotel Partners, which owns and operates the Nashville Marriott, in 2011, originally demanding a $75 million restitution. The lawsuit played out over seven days last week during a trial in a Nashville, Tennessee, courthouse. On Friday, the jury decided that Michael David Barrett, West End Hotel Partners, and Windsor Capital Group, agent of West End Hotel Partners, was at fault for invading Erin Andrews’ privacy and awarded Andrews $55 million in damages.
A judgment that is already $25 million less than what Andrews was hoping for will probably dwindle down to way less than even half the awarded amount, according to TMZ. Barrett, who’s determined to be 51 percent at fault, is on the hook for paying $28 million but likely won’t even pay one cent. West End Hotel Partners is responsible for the other 49 percent and $26 million but will likely appeal the verdict and settle with Andrews for only $20 million. TMZ also reports that after lawyers’ fees and taxes, the victim, Erin Andrews, may only be left with $6 million for emotional distress.
Testimony from Andrews became emotional as she discussed on the stand what life has been like since the nude video was leaked. Andrews admitted that her career as a sportscaster and TV host was not affected, but she constantly relives the ordeal every day of her life either via social media, a comment shouted out in public, or a video still shot. Erin Andrews took to her Twitter account shortly after the verdict on Monday, thanking the people of Nashville, as well as the Nashville court system.
“The support I’ve received from the people of Nashville has been overwhelming. I would also like to thank my family, friends and legal team. I’ve been honored by all the support from victims around the world. Their outreach has helped me be able to stand up and hold accountable those whose job it is to protect everyone’s safety, security and privacy.”
Barrett is reportedly known for secretly videotaping women in the nude. A second nude video of Erin Andrews was actually found on Barrett’s home computer. This six-second video clip that was never made public was apparently taken of Andrews in early 2008 when she stayed at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Andrews, 37, who worked as a co-host for ESPN’s College GameDay at the time of the Nashville Marriott hotel recording, still has a successful career as a Fox Sports college football host and co-host of ABC’s popular long-running reality TV dance competition show Dancing with the Stars. In fact, the Boston Herald claims that Andrews’ career actually had a positive trajectory because of the civil suit, and the outcome sends a clear message to other businesses and anyone else who might be looking to find ways to cash in on the looks and fame of celebrities, such as Erin Andrews.
[Photo by Tom Szczerbowsk/Getty Images]