NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Erin Andrews, her mother, and the man convicted of secretly recording her naked in a Nashville Marriott hotel room testified Monday in her on-going trial as she sues for damages in the case.
Andrews was recorded through a peephole in her hotel room in 2008. Michael Barrett was arrested in 2009, a few months after the video was posted online, and ultimately found guilty, serving two years in prison for the crime.
The sportscaster is now suing for $75 million in damages, naming both Barrett and the Nashville Marriott in the suit.
Erin Andrews details finding out about Peeping Tom video
Erin Andrews took the stand in her own trial Monday, beginning by going through her childhood, love of sports and what ultimately led her to pursue a career as a sportscaster.
She later became emotional when she told the courtroom people initially thought it was a publicity stunt, that she had gotten naked for “more fans” and attention.
Andrews also cried when she testified no one told her Barrett asked to be put in the hotel room next to hers.
“Why didn’t they even call me to tell me? Why didn’t they ask?” she said of the Marriott.
“I was so angry. This could’ve been stopped. The Nashville Marriott could’ve just called me,” she explained. “And I’m just so angry. I’m so mad.”
Andrews also relayed the moment she found out the video was online. A friend reportedly called her to let her know.
“I was just screaming that I was naked all over the Internet,” Andrews said, detailing a growing sense of paranoia over the next few weeks, saying she was constantly afraid someone was watching her or trying to get into her hotel rooms.
Andrews said she called her father and was screaming and crying while telling him what happened, saying of the video that didn’t know where she was or what exactly she was looking at.
She flew to Los Angeles with her father to meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She had to watch the tape to possibly help recognize where it was shot.
“I looked at my dad and I said, ‘I don’t want to watch it,’ and my dad was like, ‘You’re going to have to watch it and we have to figure it out,’” Andrews recalled.
She told her father that if she watched it, she was “going to puke,” and he reportedly replied, ‘Go, because you have to.’”
“So I went and I threw up, and then I came in and then we, like, put my hand over my body because it was so embarrassing the FBI had to watch it in front of me,” Andrews explained through tears.
She said she eventually found out where the video was taken because her stylist noticed the pants she was holding in the video, saying they were ones she wore while working in Nashville.
The sportscaster also explained how the video continues to affect her daily life. She said at sports events men yell her name and say they’ve seen her naked, adding that incidents like that happen every single time she’s covering a game.
Andrews also said when she comes to town to cover an event, “whether they mean to or not, the Nashville Marriott scandal” is always mentioned alongside her name.
“It’s always there. It’s always on my back,” she explained. “I get better, and then I get right back. That’s how it is every single day.”
Andrews also told the courtroom she and her team of lawyers effortlessly tried to get the video offline. But because it went so viral, the video is still there.”
“I’ve been told it’s going to be online until the day I die,” she explained.
Michael Barrett testifies via recorded deposition
Barrett’s testimony came first Monday and was presented via a recorded deposition that lasted over two and a half hours.
He said his intent was not to embarrass or humiliate the sportscaster, and chose Andrews because she was trending on Yahoo, which is how he figured out she was a star.
He stated he initially only planned to follow Andrews once and sell the video for a profit.
Barrett recorded it at a Nashville Marriott hotel, testifying he hacksawed the peephole to her room so it was more like a plug that could quickly be removed and replaced.
He explained he once saw a bellman remove a peephole at a hotel and that’s how he got the idea.
After recording Andrews, Barrett said he stopped because he “had enough footage” and his conscious “got to him.”
He initially tried to sell the secretly-recorded video to TMZ and a French website but said he was concerned after TMZ passed on the video that they would give it to authorities and he would get in trouble.
Barrett said once he realized he couldn’t make any money off the video, he began posting it on various sites. He said he learned the video had gone viral after his Daily Motion account exploded with views.
During his deposition, Barrett also revealed after recording Andrews he videoed 10 other women through peepholes at various hotels nationwide. He said he didn’t know any of the women and he chose them at random.
He was arrested at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago when he returned from a business trip in October 2009 and was ultimately found guilty in the case and sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison.
Paula Andrews takes the stand
Andrews’ mother Paula also took the stand briefly Monday afternoon, telling the court she is proud of her daughter and that Erin was a joy to raise and she was driven as a little girl.
She says since the secretly recorded video of her daughter was posted online, Erin is “different emotionally.”
“If I had a magic wand or if I had a paper ha that would make this go away and make her feel better, I would make a million of them.” Paula Andrews said.
Andrews said before the video went viral, her daughter was working “very hard” and had not taken a vacation in years.
“Through no fault of her own, she lost control,” Paula Andrews said.
Her husband and Erin’s father was among those who testified last week, saying she is a “shell of the person she was before” it happened. An IT expert also claimed the secretly recorded-video has been viewed more than 16 million times, and her therapist testified Andrews suffers from adjustment disorder and some aspects of PTSD.
The trial is expected to continue through the week.
Reporter Joseph Pleasant is in the courtroom. Follow him on Twitter@JPleasantwkrntv.