Wed, Mar 09, 2016 - Page 7 News List

Fox Sports’ Andrews gets US$55m

AP, NASHVILLE, Tennessee

A jury awarded Erin Andrews US$55 million in her lawsuit against a stalker who bought a hotel room next to her and secretly recorded a nude video, finding that the hotel companies and the stalker shared in the blame.

After a full day of deliberations, the panel said on Monday that the stalker was responsible for 51 percent of the verdict and the two hotel companies should share the rest, which is nearly US$27 million.

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, family and several jurors after the verdict was read. She appeared to sign an autograph for at least one juror.

The jury 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. She had asked for US$75 million.

Andrews’ parents described for jurors the terror they and their daughter felt after learning of the video, but not knowing who took it, where it was shot and if someone was still watching their daughter.

An FBI investigation would later reveal that Michael 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.

“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 said in a statement.

On Friday last week, Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Hamilton Gayden found Barrett at fault and left it up to jurors to decide if the hotel owner, West End Hotel Partners, and former operator, Windsor Capital Group, should share any responsibility.

Attorneys for the companies argued that while what happened to Andrews was terrible, the stalker should be solely to blame because he was a determined criminal.

The attorneys also suggested that Andrews’ rise in her career showed she did not suffer severe and permanent distress.

Andrews said her stalker’s arrest and imprisonment did not make the nightmare go away.

“This happens every day of my life,” Andrews said. “Either I get a tweet or somebody makes a comment in the paper, or somebody sends me a still video to my Twitter, or someone screams it at me in the stands and I’m right back to this. I feel so embarrassed and I am so ashamed.”

Barrett pleaded guilty to stalking Andrews, altering hotel room peepholes and taking nude videos of her. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. He did not appear at the trial.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top