A jury on Tuesday (AEDT) found that the owners and management company of a Nashville hotel are liable for sports reporter Erin Andrews being videotaped nude through a peephole by a stalker in 2008, awarding the Fox Sports reporter AUD$74 million in damages.
Jurors started deliberations Monday in Erin Andrews’ $75 million lawsuit over nude videos a stalker took and posted online, trying to determine whether the owner and a former operator of a hotel where the video was shot should be held responsible.
After the verdict, they said they were disappointed and not sure if they would appeal.
Attorneys for the hotel, led by Marc Dedman and Brent Usery of Spicer Rudstrom law firm in Nashville, argued at trial that Barrett alone was to blame and said the hotel companies could not be held responsible for his criminal actions. She said she was humiliated and still suffers from depression as a result of the video being seen by millions. He pleaded guilty to stalking in 2009 and served two years in prison.
“Right from the beginning they gave out information that they shouldn’t have and multiple hotel witnesses in this case admitted that was a violation”. The jury divided the responsibility almost half and half between the perverted stalker, Michael Barrett and Marriott Hotel. Barrett was not actually obsessed with Andrews, but he chose her because at the time, she was “trending on Yahoo”.
But Andrews’ attorneys, Randall Kinnard of Nashville and Bruce Broillet of California, argued the hotel staff enabled Barrett. “I feel like if I can go and compete on ‘Dancing with the Stars” and make it to the finale, and host the show, and have all this stuff on my plate, then people will forget and, hopefully, I will forget”.
“I’ve been honoured by all the support from victims around the world”, she said.
‘This happens every day of my life, ‘ Andrews said tearfully. He also stressed the “value of privacy” in one’s “home away from home”.
The jurors took photos with Andrews after the amount was announced, and she signed autographs, according to reports from inside the courtroom.
Andrews testified that after the video surfaced in 2009, her bosses at ESPN told her she had to do a sit-down interview to prove she did not purposely leak the video.
Barrett asked the hotel to put him in a room next to Andrews’ after an employee confirmed to him that she was staying there on a certain date.