Namaste to her supporters. A grateful and relieved Erin Andrews took to Twitter on Monday, March 7, to thank her supporters after being awarded $55 million in her civil lawsuit over a secret hotel room recording of herself from 2008.
“I would like to thank the Nashville court, the court personnel and the jury for their service,” Fox Sports’ lead sideline reporter, 37, tweeted after the verdict was announced. “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.”
Andrews originally sought $75 million from the hotel operator and owner, as well as her stalker, Michael David Barrett, who used a peephole to film nude footage of the sideline reporter in a Nashville-based Marriott hotel seven years ago. The invasive video was later leaked online by Barrett, and Andrews detailed the harrowing experience to jurors during a raw, emotional testimony last week.
The Dancing With the Stars host revealed on the stand that her bosses at the time at ESPN — she left in 2012 — forced her to address the peephole video in a sit-down interview. “Because there wasn’t an arrest, because we didn’t know where this happened, my bosses at ESPN told me, ‘Before you go back on air for college football, we need you to give a sit-down interview.’ And that was the only way I was going to be allowed back,” she recalled. However, Andrews was allowed to pick the network and journalist she would share her story with.
“They were highly recommending it be GMA [Good Morning America], because ESPN and ABC are the same,” she testified, according to Deadspin. “I just said, you know what, ‘I know because she’s very public about it, Oprah is a crime victim.’ I talked to her producers, I told her I didn’t want to do it. But this was the only way I was going to be put back on air.”
ESPN, meanwhile, released a statement to Us Weekly about Andrews’ comments in court. “Developments in the case have been interpreted by some to mean that ESPN was unsupportive of Erin in the aftermath of her ordeal,” the network said last week. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been and continue to be supportive of Erin.”
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