A business trip that went horribly wrong eight years ago for Erin Andrews still haunts her today.
Yesterday, during her civil lawsuit, the sportscaster left the court in tears after hearing testimony about how many people have viewed the video of her undressing in her hotel room.
A computer expert testified on Thursday that nearly 17 million individuals have viewed the nude video of Andrews, a recording that occurred at the Nashville Marriott in 2008 through a rigged peephole by stalker Michael David Barrett.
“Every minute, 1.5 people are watching that video,” Penn State Professor Bernard Jansen told jurors in Nashville court. “Right now, someone is watching that video."
Andrews, a woman that has built up a strong personal brand, cried during Jansen's testimony. She then left the courtroom in tears, after her lawyer dismissed her before jurors watched the video.
Jurors watched in silence the 4.5-minute video, along with a six-second clip Barret taped of Andrews in an Ohio hotel. Because of the nature of the videos, media and the public were asked to leave the courtroom, and the area was completely protected from outside view, ensuring only the 14 jurors could watch the clips.
The minutes-long video was shot eight years ago at the Nashville Marriott when Andrews came to the city to cover a Vanderbilt football game. Barrett, a man who had been stalking Andrews, was told by Marriott staff Andrews's room number. He then requested the room adjacent to her, allowing him to set up video camera through a doctored peephole. He later uploaded the footage to the web, where it has been reportedly viewed more than 300 million times.
Andrews' former therapist, Loren Comstock, who treated the sportscaster from March 2012 to April 2013, also testified yesterday via a pre-recorded video. According to various media outlets, at the time Comstock diagnosed Andrews with adjustment disorder, a condition in which someone feels stressed, sad and hopeless after a traumatic event.
"She told me that she had aspired to be a sportscaster from the time she was little girl and that she had worked hard to establish herself, and that she was concerned that this incident made a mockery of her and it would impact people being able to take her seriously," the therapist said.
Comstock said the ordeal seeped into relationships, with Andrews concerned about how she would tell potential suitors about the violation.
“Do you bring it up? Do you wait for them to bring it up? I told her, ‘Just go with it. It happened to you, it’s not something you did,’” Comstock testified.
Her former therapist also told jurors that Andrews said "she had been nicknamed ‘One-Click Erin,’ which meant if someone saw her name, they would make one click looking for the video.”
Testimony also came from Marriott International executive Renne Buonicontri, who said Barrett's request to be put next to Andrews through the company's 1-800 phone number was never told to the Nashville Marriott.
Andrews is seeking $75 million in damages, claiming the hotel "intentionally" placed Barrett next to her room and failed to notice he had "removed and altered the peephole." Attorneys for Andrews allege negligence, emotional distress and invasion of privacy, among other things. The defendants in the civil trial are the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, the hotel’s owner West End Hotel Partners, the management company Windsor Capital Group and Barrett.
The trial is expected to last 10 days.