NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jurors started deliberations Monday in Erin Andrews’ $75 million lawsuit over nude photos a stalker took of her at hotels and posted online, trying to determine whether the companies should be held partially responsible.
The Fox Sports reporter and co-host of the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” sued the stalker and the owner and former operator of the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt. The hotel is a franchise.
She testified that she was publicly humiliated, shamed and suffers from depression as a result of the videos, which have been viewed by millions of people online. Andrews told jurors that she didn’t think her life would ever be the same as a result of the videos, and she still gets taunted by people who have viewed them.
The stalker, Michael David Barrett, admitted to altering hotel room peepholes in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and taking nude videos of Andrews and was sentenced to 2½ years in prison.
Barrett was a Chicago-area insurance company executive when he took the videos of Andrews at the Nashville hotel in September 2008.
Barrett said he posted the recordings online after celebrity gossip website TMZ refused to buy them. The only reason he picked Andrews was because she was popular and he saw that she was trending on Yahoo, he said in a deposition played during the trial.
He did not show up for the trial. On Friday, the judge in the case found Barrett at fault. Now it’s up to jurors to decide if the hotel companies should share in some of the blame.
The companies have argued that while what happened to Andrews was terrible, Barrett was a determined criminal who should be solely to blame.
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