NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - Attorneys for sportscaster Erin Andrews said on Tuesday a Marriott hotel was negligent in enabling a guest to shoot a nude video of her that went viral on the Internet, while the Tennessee hotel put the blame entirely on the stalker.
Andrews, who has since moved from ESPN to Fox Sports, has sued the Marriott Nashville at Vanderbilt University for $75 million over the 2008 incident, in which a man in a neighboring room, Michael David Barrett, rigged a peep hole and shot the video of Andrews changing.
Andrews, who also has appeared on the “Dancing With the Stars” television show, was staying at the hotel while covering a Vanderbilt football game.
Andrews originally had named Marriott International as a defendant but the judge dismissed the company from the case last month. Barrett and the Nashville hotel’s owners and managers remain as defendants.
In opening statements in Davidson County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Andrews’ attorney Randall Kinnard blamed former hotel employees for giving out Andrews’ room number, which led to Barrett booking the room next door.
Marc Dedman, an attorney for the hotel, said the blame rests solely with Barrett, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to stalking Andrews and shooting the videos and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Kinnard, pointing to the damage the video continues to cause Andrews, said: “This is not like a broken arm that heals,” The Tennessean newspaper reported.
A former hotel employee testified that it was against hotel policy to give out room numbers.
The trial is expected to take about two weeks.
Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Richard Chang