Emotional Erin Andrews Testifies In Peephole Trial

(Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)
(Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)

Signs from fans in the stands said “Marry me, Erin Andrews. You’re hot,” Andrews told a Nashville jury on Monday.

She could handle it back then, she said, and even used comments about her appearance to fuel her career.

But a 4½-minute video secretly recorded of the television broadcaster nude at a Nashville hotel in 2008 shook that confidence, she said.

Now when the Fox Sports reporter is on the field, she has an earpiece in one ear and a never-ending stream of anxiety in the other.

“I’ve seen your this. I’ve seen your that,” she said tearfully from the witness stand, recalling the jeers she hears from the crowd. “Hey, I’ve seen what you do here.”

Andrews testified in the fifth day of her civil trial. She is seeking $75 million from Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, owned by West End Hotel Partners and operated by Windsor Capital Group.

The 37-year-old, who has attended each day of trial, spoke calmly at first. When asked by her lawyer, Bruce Broillet, if she knew more about sports than anyone in the courtroom, she responded lightheartedly: “That’s speculation, isn’t it?”

She looked at the jurors as she described her childhood as a tomboy. Her first big job covering the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team in her hometown in Florida. How she worked hard to be the girl next door who knew her stuff, not the tall blond stereotype on the sidelines.

Then her attorney asked her to talk about what happened on Sept. 4, 2008.

Andrews’ composure broke. Her father and mother, Steve and Paula Andrews, sat in the front row. Paula Andrews sobbed into her husband’s shoulder.

On that September day, as Andrews was preparing for a Thursday night Vanderbilt football game, a man she did not know requested a room next to her at the hotel and recorded her naked through an altered peephole.

She tearfully described how, 11 months later, her friend and Sports Illustrated writer Jimmy Traina told her the videos had been posted online. How she vomited when she watched the video as part of an FBI investigation. How for the next month she felt “glazed over,” wore pajamas all day and holed up at her parents’ home. How she blamed herself for not wearing a bathrobe when she said she should have faulted the hotel.

“I’m so angry,” she said. “This could have been stopped.”

She said if she had known a man requested the room next to her, she would have called police. But Marriott hotel staff never notified her, she said.

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SOURCE: USA Today