A Tennessee jury on Monday awarded Erin Andrews $55 million in a civil lawsuit brought by the sportscaster over an unauthorized 2008 video that showed Andrews naked while staying in a hotel. The video was taken by Michael David Barrett, who was later convicted of stalking Andrews, from an adjacent room in a Nashville Marriott hotel. Barrett later posted the video online.
Andrews originally sued for $75 million in damages from Barrett and West End Partners, the owner of the hotel. Here’s more on the trial and verdict from the Associated Press:
Andrews, a Fox Sports reporter and co-host of the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” wept as jurors announced the verdict. She hugged her attorneys and family, who have supported her inside the courtroom throughout the emotional trial. Jurors heard directly from Andrews, who testified that she was humiliated, shamed and suffers from depression as a result of the video, which has been viewed by millions of people online… An FBI investigation would later reveal that Michael David Barrett shot videos in hotels in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and posted them online. The trial focused on the video shot in 2008 at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt.
On Friday, Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Hamilton Gayden found Barrett at fault. It was only up to jurors to decide if the hotel owner, West End Hotel Partners, and former operator, Windsor Capital Group, should share in the blame. The hotel is a franchise and Marriott is not part of the trial. Attorneys for the companies argued that while what happened to Andrews was terrible, the convicted stalker should be solely to blame because he was a determined criminal. The attorneys also suggested that Andrews’ rise in her career shows she did not suffer severe and permanent distress. Andrews said Barrett’s arrest and imprisonment did not make the nightmare go away. She broke down on the stand repeatedly, saying she continues to suffer because people are still watching the videos and taunting her about them.
Andrews released a statement via Twitter after the judgment:
This post has been updated.