NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The father of sportscaster Erin Andrews said Wednesday that his daughter is a shell of her former self after a stalker made secret nude recordings of her and posted the material on the Internet.
Steve Andrews testified during a civil trial that his daughter didn’t want to eat, bathe or be around people and that all she did was cry after she discovered in 2009 that the nude videos had been posted online.
He said she remains afraid of people to this day.
Erin Andrews cried throughout her father’s testimony and he choked up several times on the stand.
Never miss a local story.
The father told the jury that before a stalker made the secret recordings, Erin Andrews was always fun, always joking, and that she was happy and successful in her career as a sportscaster at ESPN.
That has now changed, he said, remarking, “She’s afraid. She’s afraid of crowds, afraid of people. She doesn’t trust anymore.”
Michael David Barrett has pleaded guilty to recording videos of Erin Andrews through peepholes that he altered on the doors of her hotel rooms in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio. He also admitted to attempting to make secret recordings of her in Milwaukee.
Barrett was sentenced to serve 2 1/2 years in prison.
In July of 2009, however, neither Andrews nor her family knew how the videos got online and who shot them. Steve Andrews said his daughter called him “hysterically crying, screaming out of her mind” when she found out.
He said that he was afraid for his daughter’s life and that no one knew if someone was still stalking her.
Barrett had shot the video in September of 2008 while Erin Andrews was in Nashville to cover a college football game.
The father said she was so disturbed about the secret footage that she vomited before agreeing to an FBI request that she watch the nude videos so agents could find clues about who took it.
Growing up, Erin Andrews was always insecure about her body because she was so tall and skinny, her father said. She was always the kid in the back of the photos because she was so tall, Steve Andrews said, and she felt so awkward about her body that she didn’t like to change in front of other girls in dance class.
“This was about the worst thing that could have happened to her from the perspective of self-pride, comfort in the way you look,” the father said of the secret recordings posted to the Web.
Andrews has filed a $75 million lawsuit against Barrett, West End Hotel Partners, which is the franchise owner of the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, and Windsor Capital Group, which manages the hotel. She maintains that someone affiliated with the hotel gave Barrett her room number and he was intentionally placed in a room next to her.
Attorneys for the hotel companies say Barrett was an experienced traveler who schemed his way into getting a room next to her by using an in-house phone at the hotel to find out what room she was in and then requesting that he be placed in a room next to hers.
Andrews now works for Fox Sports and as a host on the TV show “Dancing With the Stars.”