ESPN’s Andrews files invasion of privacy suit over hotel incident

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Courtesy of CNN:


CNN) — Erin Andrews has filed a lawsuit over her September 2008 stay at a Nashville, Tennessee, hotel where a man altered a peephole so he could shoot video of the ESPN sports reporter while she was nude.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Davidson County, Tennessee, seeks $6 million from a Marriott hotel and $4 million from Michael David Barrett, who got a prison term for the crime.

Andrews’ lawsuit contends she was a victim of negligence, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress.

Andrews, 33, alleges that Barrett made calls to determine if she would be staying at the Marriott near Vanderbilt University. She claims Marriott revealed the room location and Barrett requested a room next door. Marriott failed to discover Barrett altered the peephole of the reporter’s room door, the lawsuit contends.

A Marriott International spokesman declined Tuesday to comment on the lawsuit, but said changes were made.

“We have made changes to our guest registration policy to further ensure guest privacy,” said Jeff Flaherty, director of communications.

Barrett pleaded guilty in late 2009 to a federal stalking charge. He was later sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

In court papers, prosecutors stated that Barrett — an insurance company employee from Westmont, Illinois — posted as many as 10 videos of Andrews to the Internet.

Authorities believe that most of the videos were made at the Nashville hotel. The peephole into Andrews’ room was altered with a hacksaw, and the images appeared to have been taken with a cell phone camera, according to the charges against Barrett.

Barrett came under scrutiny after attempting to sell the videos to the celebrity gossip site TMZ in January 2009. TMZ did not purchase the images, but employees of the website assisted in the investigation by providing information to Andrews’ attorneys, authorities said.

TMZ, like CNN, is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

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