Jury deliberation began this morning for the ongoing saga that has become the Erin Andrews trial. Last week, Andrews completed two days of an emotionally driven testimony detailing the facts of the incident in question, along with her assertion that the Nashville Marriott hotel could have prevented all of this from happening. The one question on everybody’s mind is, understandably, will Erin Andrews win the lawsuit? The verdict could come soon!
The jury consists of seven women and five men, each tasked to consider whether Andrews’ $75 million claim is valid and whether both her convicted stalker, Michael David Barrett, and the hotel is at fault for the Erin Andrews naked peephole video that was leaked across the Internet. The first court date in the civil lawsuit was February 22.
Testimony from a computer expert affirmed the clip was viewed over 17 million times. However, the defense is claiming that the $75 million lawsuit is unwarranted, partially because there hasn’t been any physical harm done to Andrews. There have also been public claims that the former ESPN broadcaster has profited from all the headlines, which has helped skyrocket her career even further. Most notably, Andrews recently covered the 2015 World Series and the 2016 Super Bowl, along with being the primary sideline reporter for Fox News during NFL games.
Prosecutors in the civil lawsuit have, of course, taken the opposite perspective, claiming breach of privacy and the emotional strain and embarrassment of Andrews as damage enough, and that the Nashville Marriott “made it easy” for Barrett to take that nude video of Andrews in her hotel room. Andrews has also testified that contrary to reports and some public sentiment, she has not benefited from the incident and it has, in fact, nearly ruined her career.
She was asked by ESPN to release a public statement about the infamous Erin Andrews naked peephole video before returning to “regular” work. Andrews was also led towards addressing the problem on Good Morning America, but chose to speak with Oprah Winfrey instead. Regardless, many media outlets reported for up to four months that the entire act was a publicity stunt.
Michael David Barrett was able to check into a hotel room directly beside Erin Andrews in 2008 while she was covering a football game. He then shot video of her by altering the peephole on her room door, an act in which Andrews was unaware of until the illicit video was all over the Internet.
Andrews says she wasn’t able to take off her clothes for days after finding out about the video. She says she couldn’t manage the thought of so many people being able to see her naked any time they wanted.
With closing arguments now complete and both defense and prosecution having presented their case, the outcome rests in the hands of the jury and the verdict could come soon. This is expected to be a difficult verdict, as the jury will have to decide on how to evaluate the emotional value of being shamed.
That task is difficult enough on its own, but having to arrive at a decision in what has become such a public trial is even more challenging. The jury is, of course, expected to keep its integrity, but no doubt the attention this case is receiving, culminating with the anticipation of this verdict, could very well be adding pressure to what is already an intense process.
After getting the weekend off, deliberation is now underway. A win for Erin Andrews would send a resounding message to hotels surrounding the accountability they must take in ensuring the privacy of its guests. It will also be interesting to see just how much the Nashville Marriott has to pay should they be on the negative end of the verdict. Do they have $75 million to lose, and will Erin Andrews win the lawsuit? Answers to both questions are expected very soon.