UPDATED with Andrews’ statement: After a two-week trial in Nashville, a jury today awarded Erin Andrews $55 million over the 2008 incident that led to video of her in the nude splashed all over the Internet. The jury of seven women and five men determined Nashville Marriott hotel owners and a known stalker were jointly accountable for the invasion of privacy and humiliation of Andrews, now a Fox Sports host and Dancing With The Stars co-host.
The award from the Tennessee jury is $20 million less than Andrews was seeking in her lawsuit.
— Erin Andrews (@ErinAndrews) March 7, 2016
Working for ESPN at the time, Andrews was in town in September 2008 to cover a college football game when the Marriott permitted Michael David Barrett’s request to be in the room next to the sportscaster. To make matters worse, Andrews was never told Barrett was booked next door. Andrews only discovered what had happened later, when nearly five minutes of footage of her changing that he had secretly filmed was posted online to millions of views. Pre-planning, insurance salesman Barrett had removed peepholes in the doors and filmed Andrews with his cell phone. He was later sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail for the act. Marriott International was dropped from the last case earlier this year on the premise it was not responsible for security put or not put in place by a franchisee.
In often tearful testimony, Andrews described last month on the standhow her humiliation was doubled when it was reported at the time that the video was a PR stunt. In fact, hotel owner West End Hotel Partners and ex-operator Windsor Capitol argued at trial that they shouldn’t be held accountable for anything because Andrews’ career had actually blossomed since the incident.
After just eight hours of deliberation today, the jury didn’t agree: the two companies will have to pay around $26 million to Andrews, while Barrett will have to pay around $28 million in accordance with the ruling. An appeal is likely to be filed, sources say.
Bruce Broillet, Tobin Lanzetta Molly McKibben and Scott Carr, of Geene, Broillet & Wheller LLP represented Andrews in the case, along with Kinnard Clayton & Beveridge’s Randall Kinnard.