NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews tearfully told a Tennessee jury on Monday of her shock and humiliation after learning that a nude video of her taken by a stalker was posted on the Internet.
Andrews, a former ESPN sportscaster who has since moved 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.
She testified that she has experienced depression, spells of crying and sleeplessness since the video went viral in 2009. She said that before authorities were able to determine how the video was taken, news outlets had speculated that she had posted it herself to get publicity.
Andrews has blamed former hotel employees for giving out Andrews’ room number, which led to Barrett booking the room next door.
“I’m so angry. This could have been stopped,” Andrews said. She said if the Marriott had told her that a man had requested the room next to hers, she would have called the police.
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 video and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Andrews told the jury how she was a lifelong sports fan who worked hard to learn about the games she covered and overcome prejudice that she was hired because she was tall and blonde.
She said she still hears about the video on a daily basis including from fans at games. Her legal team initially tried to get the video off the Internet, but now she realizes it will be there “until I die,” she said.
“It’s so embarrassing,” Andrews said. “It was my private time.”
In a video deposition played in court, Barrett said he timed a business trip to Nashville for when he knew Andrews would be in town to cover the Vanderbilt football game, and that he made the video to try to make money.
Barrett said he asked to get the room next to Andrews.
Andrews’ testimony resumes on Tuesday morning.
Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman