NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jurors started deliberations Monday in Erin Andrews’ $75 million lawsuit over nude videos a stalker took and posted online, trying to determine whether the owner and a former operator of a hotel where the video was shot should be held responsible.
The Fox Sports reporter and co-host of the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” 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. In at times tearful testimony, Andrews told jurors that she didn’t think her life would ever be the same, and she still gets taunted by people who have viewed the videos.
The owner and former operator of the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt have argued that while what happened to Andrews was terrible, the stalker, Michael David Barrett, was a determined criminal who should be solely to blame.
Barrett admitted to stalking Andrews, altering hotel room peepholes in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and taking nude videos of her. He 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. Most of the video was shot at the Nashville hotel.
He 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 owner, West End Hotel Partners, and former operator, Windsor Capital Group, should share in some of the blame.
Marriott International was named in the lawsuit but a judge dismissed the case against them, saying the company was not responsible for the day-to-day operations, including security, at the franchise.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU