The lawsuit filed by sports reporter and Dancing with the Stars co-host Erin Andrews is now underway, four years after first being filed. And about time, too, because there’s $75 million on the line here, not to mention any potential changes to privacy laws as a result of the viral Erin Andrews video that started this whole mess! In the week since the trial began, some new information has come to light that those trying to follow along need to know.
For those not “in the know,” here’s the scoop. Erin Andrews, while on assignment for ESPN (she’s currently at Fox), stayed at a Marriott hotel in Nashville, Tennessee in 2008. While there, a stalker, then-50-year-old Michael David Barrett, had booked the room next to hers, set up a camera in the peephole of her hotel room’s door, and recorded her in the nude while she was changing her clothes. His recording found its way online and went viral, much to Andrews’ horror. She is now suing the Nashville Marriott hotel where this happened, believing they were negligent and caused emotional distress.
Most recently, the damage done by the Erin Andrews video going viral has come to light, as an expert, Penn State Professor Bernard Jansen, testified on Thursday that almost 17 million people have seen the infamous hotel peephole video by now; that works out to 1.5 people per minute, and likely even means someone is watching it right now! Upon this revelation, Andrews was brought to tears and excused herself from the courtroom; understandable, given the impact of finding out that millions of people have invaded your privacy and seen you naked without your consent. Jurors were even shown the full four-and-a-half-minute Erin Andrews video, though everyone not related to the case (the media and public onlookers) were made to leave the courtroom first.
Also Read: Jury Watches Erin Andrews’ Naked Hotel Video
In other Erin Andrews trial-related news, there has been much discussion over who will be expected to take the stand in the coming days, with three people being suggested. One is, of course, Erin Andrews herself, as her perspective on the incident and its impact on her will be important for the jurors to make a decision. Also expected to provide testimony, if she hasn’t already by the time you read this, is Andrews’ mother, Paula; this comes after her father, Steve, took the stand last week, explaining in painful detail about the day his daughter called him to tell him what happened; he would admit to the court that he legitimately fear edfor his daughter’s life.
Lastly, it’s believed the stalker himself, Michael David Barrett, may end up on the stand soon as well. While it may seem like there’s nothing to be gained from doing so—after all, he’s already pleaded guilty to wiring the hotel peephole and using it to record the viral video—but his testimony is actually quite important and could decide the fate of the trial. That’s because Barrett could finally offer answers about one of Erin Answers’ nagging doubts, as the star has suggested that the hotel staff knew what her stalker was up to and even gave him the dates of her stay, as well as the room beside hers.