Six-years ago a successful television sports journalist’s life changed in a matter of minutes.
While staying in the US city of Nashville for work reporter Erin Andrews, who worked for ESPN at the time, was targeted by a stalker who secretly filmed while her undressing through the peephole in her hotel room door.
When months later the young, successful reporter – who has already faced a career filled with challenges due to her gender in a male dominated field – found out about the vision that her stalker had tried to sell unsuccessfully and then uploaded to the internet anyway, Andrews was undone.
The incident transformed Andrews, her father, said, the confident sports reporter became “a very, very changed person.”
“She’s mad,” he said. “She’s scared. She’s terrified. She’s depressed. She cries. She’s full of anxiety. … She’s not the girl that we used to know at all.”
As she attempts to put the past behind her Andrews has taken to the stand in a US$75 million lawsuit against the Marriott Hotel in Nashville and her stalker, a 46-year-old insurance executive.
The 37-year-old – who now works for Fox Sports and has appeared in Dancing With the Stars – sobbed on the witness stand this week as she told of the moment she learned that nude footage of herself was all over the Internet.
“I said, ‘No, there’s not! I don’t do that!’ ” Andrews, recalled friend who broke the news to her over the phone in July 2009.