According to Meghan Keneally of ABC News, sportscaster Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million by the jury Monday “in her civil lawsuit over the secret recording and release of a video showing her naked during a hotel stay.”
Andrews initially asked for $75 million in her suit levied against West End Hotel Partners (the company that owns the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University) and her stalker, Michael David Barrett.
Andrews took to Twitter after the announcement:
Erin Andrews @ErinAndrews
Marriott International provided a statement on the trial as well, per Andrew Brandt of ESPN:
Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt
Marriott statement. Translation: "Hey, don't put our name in there, we weren't involved." Running away from it. https://t.co/UMrkkeKP972016-3-8 17:08:09
She was staying in the hotel in 2008 when Barrett “used a hacksaw to tamper with her room’s peephole” to record the video that was released in 2009, per Keneally. West End Hotel Partners said Barrett’s actions were not its responsibility, although Chris Spargo of the Daily Mail noted the “owner and operator” of the hotel “gave Barrett the room next to [Andrews'] own after he requested it.”
Barrett pleaded guilty to interstate stalking in December 2009 and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in 2010, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). Andrews said after Barrett's sentencing that “30 months isn’t enough,” per the AP.
Andrews testified during this case with her lawsuit and broke into tears on a number of occasions as she attempted to explain how the video, which was released online, impacted her life.
Sports legal analyst Exavier Pope said the Marriott’s defense claimed the sportscaster—who worked at ESPN at the time the video was released and currently works for Fox Sports—made more money because of the video.
Spargo broke down Andrews’ testimony in detail and said she called her father immediately after watching “only a few seconds of the video” and was forced to watch it in its entirety with the FBI so the agents could be sure “it was not a publicity stunt.”
Andrews said she vomited while watching it and said ESPN told her to do an interview about the video, per Spargo.
“They told her she needed to do this because at that time no one had been arrested in the case and believed she had released the footage,” Spargo said.
Andrews did the interview with Oprah Winfrey in order to have a full hour to tell her story.
Keneally cited reports from inside the courtroom Monday and said the jurors “took photos with Andrews” after it was announced she was awarded $55 million. She also reportedly signed autographs.