In March last year, as a jury awarded US sports journalist Erin Andrews $74 million for the trauma of the eight years prior, she no doubt felt the storm had passed. And it had been a storm of catastrophic proportions.
In 2008, 46-year-old Michael David Barrett had followed Andrews into a hotel in Nashville. He camped out in the hotel room next door, altering the peephole in the door to her room and filmed her naked.
On July 16, 2009, one of these videos, in which Andrews appeared totally nude, was posted online. In a subsequent lawsuit, it was estimated by a computer scientist that 16.8 million people had seen stills from the video.
Barrett was arrested in October of the same year, and sentenced to two years and six months in prison. Andrews also won her civil suit.
It was over. She was out of the news, she was back at work doing what she loved and the focus returned to her career and not her controversies.
And then, without reason, rhyme or fairness, in October last year, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She would need surgery, and she would need it fast.
In an interview with MMQB, Andrews’ dad, Steve, said it wasn’t easy watching his daughter have so much thrown at her at the one time.
“When you hear the word cancer, you fear the worst,” her father says. “When it’s your child, you think to yourself, you think to God: Take me, not her. She has been through enough. She is just getting her life back.”
And so in the middle of October, Andrews went in for surgery. Two days later, she told MMQB, she was on a plane back to work. She returned to the cameras just three days after surgery. Acknowledging it wasn’t on her doctor’s advice to be on her feet and working so soon, Andrews said she needed to be there. Sport, she says, is her “escape.”
“Throughout my career, all I’ve ever wanted is to just fit in,” Andrews told MMQB. “That I had this extra baggage with the scandal, I didn’t want to be any different. I felt that way about being sick too. I don’t want players or coaches to look at me differently.”
Two weeks after that initial surgery, Andrews found out she was in the clear: more treatment wouldn’t be necessary.
Her long-term partner, Jarret Stoll, proposed a month later.
And despite the fact it seems the worst has come and gone, the enormity of the last few years is not lost on her father.
“I try not to think about what happened to her too much. But when I do, and I consider the enormity of what Erin has endured, I’ll often just sit down and cry.”