Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in her lawsuit against a Nashville Marriott on Monday.
The lawsuit came from an incident in 2008 when a man named Michael David Barrett, who had been stalking Andrews, was allowed to book the hotel room next to hers. Barrett then proceeded to use the peephole to see through the door into Andrews’ room and take a video of her while undressed. Barrett then posted this video online, causing severe stress to Andrews and her career.
Erin Andrews also states that ESPN would not allow her to return to her work until she made a public statement about the incident. She chose the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Barrett was also sentenced to 30 months in prison for stalking Andrews. Andrews claimed in her lawsuit that she now has every room she stays in checked for cameras and other hidden recording devices. This has put intense emotional strain on her and is her reasoning for suing Marriott as well.
It seems fitting that such a case was resolved the day before International Women’s Day. Cases like this have not been uncommon with security at hotels being below par. Men have been given keys to women’s rooms just by claiming that they are the woman’s spouse. A woman sued Embassy Suites in Iowa when in 2014 the hotel staff allowed a strange man to enter her hotel room. The woman awoke to the man standing at the foot of her bed.
The most shocking event of Andrew’s trial was the view of the Marriott representatives. During the trial, Marriott’s lawyers chipped at Erin Andrews and the publicity this case has generated. The lawyers claimed that the video that Barrett posted brought Andrews extra publicity that gave her a larger contract deal. This opinion shows just how misguided publicity can be. Andrews has frequently talked about how this incident has ruined her self confidence and undermined her ability to do her job.
So why do crimes like these keep happening? On Amazon there are a whole section of items that are meant to keep people from seeing into and getting into your hotel. The deadbolt isn’t even enough these days. Hotels have to step up their security and validate who a visitor is before they let them into a room.
The ruling in this case shows that sexually driven crimes will not be allowed to continue. Erin Andrews is a successful sports news broadcaster for Fox News and is a co-host on Dancing with the Stars. Andrews is not after a financial gain from this lawsuit – she has money; she is looking for accountability from Barrett and the hotel that put her in this position.