Finally. On Monday, March 7, Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in a civil lawsuit over the secret recording and release of a video showing her naked during a 2008 hotel stay.
The Dancing With the Stars host, 37, originally sought a total of $75 million from the owner and operator of the Nashville-based Marriott hotel where she was staying and from Michael David Barrett, the stalker who filmed the nude footage through a peephole he altered to see into her room and then posted it online.
While she didn’t get all that she asked for, Andrews was appreciative of the jury’s decision and even took photos with jurors and signed autographs for them, according to courtroom reports.
As Us Weekly previously reported, the sportscaster broke down in court on Monday, February 29, when she opened up about the horrific experience — revealing that her bosses at ESPN forced her to address it in public.
“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 testified.
“They were highly recommending it be GMA [Good Morning America], because ESPN and ABC are the same, and they wanted it on GMA. But like my dad had said the other day, I didn’t want it to be a two-second thing where it’s like, ‘Was this a scandal, or was it not?’ No, this is my life, and I feel terrible about myself, and we want to figure out how this happened. So, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to be a part of it,” she continued, via 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.'”
“Developments in the case have been interpreted by some to mean that ESPN was unsupportive of Erin in the aftermath of her ordeal,” ESPN told Us Weekly in response to Andrews’ claims in a statement. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been and continue to be supportive of Erin.”
While the court case is behind her, Andrews will never be able to fully forget what happened to her. “It’s always there. It’s always on my back,” she explained. “I wanted to be the girl next door who loved sports, and now I’m the girl with a hotel scandal. … It’s on the Internet now. … It’s going to be on the Internet until I die.”