The Erin Andrews Stalker Lawsuit

Van Everyman

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Surprised that this isn't getting more attention on the board (it was mentioned in the ESPN thread). Some pretty horrifying and heartbreaking stuff:

The Defense In Erin Andrews’ Stalker Lawsuit Is Even More Disgusting Than You Imagined

Years after Erin Andrews had nude photos of her taken and leaked online against her will, her lawsuit against the hotel that allowed her stalker to have access to a neighboring room is just now making it to trial. It’s a long time for a traumatic experience to hang over someone’s head, and it’s bringing back
all sorts of horrible memories for Andrews.
...
So, essentially the hotel is claiming that while they did allow Andrews’ privacy to be violated in traumatic fashion, the resulting publicity she gained from being victimized should mitigate any damages they would have to pay. It’s an astounding position to take, claiming that the incident that irrevocably harmed Andrews’ mental healthwas somehow a boon. It’s the legal equivalent of saying, “Hey, you should be thanking us!” It also doesn’t consider the fact that Andrews was also a rising star at the time and is very, very good at her job, so perhaps that had something to do with her career taking off after the incident.
http://uproxx.com/sports/erin-andrews-lawsuit-hotel-legal-defense/

And this, from ESPN (her employer at the time):

Erin Andrews: ESPN Forced Me To Go On TV And Talk About My Stalker

Fox broadcaster Erin Andrews took the stand today in the trial over her civil suit against the Nashville hotel where she was videotaped undressing through her hotel room peephole. In one of the most frightening bits of testimony in a case full of them, Andrews explained how ESPN—her employer at the time—forced her to discuss the issue on national television, against her will, before she was allowed to return to her broadcasting duties.

...

Fighting unsuccessfully to hold back tears as she answered questions from her lawyer today, Andrews testified that “everybody” thought she orchestrated the video as a publicity stunt: “Probably for like three months, everybody thought it was a publicity stunt. The front page of the New York Post said ‘ESPN Scandal.’ To Fox News and CBS, everybody put up that I was doing it for publicity and attention, and that ripped me apart.”

...

Q: So did ESPN require that you give an interview?

Yes. Because there wasn’t an arrest, because we didn’t know where this happened, my bosses at ESPN told me, “before you go back on air for college football we need you to give a sit-down interview.” And that was the only way I was going to be allowed back.

Q: Now, you did have the right to select who that interview would be done by, right?

I did. They were highly recommending it be GMA [Good Morning America], because ESPN and ABC are the same, and they wanted it on GMA. But like my dad had said the other day, I didn’t want it to be a two second thing where it’s like, “Was this a scandal, or, was it not?” No, this is my life, and I feel terrible about myself, and we want to figure out how this happened. So, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to be a part of it, and I just said, you know what, “I know because she’s very public about it, Oprah is a crime victim.” I talked to her producers, I told her I didn’t want to do it. But this was the only way I was going to be put back on air, so we went to the Oprahshow.
http://deadspin.com/erin-andrews-espn-forced-me-to-go-on-tv-and-talk-about-1762058985

As shitty as ESPN treated her it sounds like Oprah was really great about it.

Bigger picture: kind of hard to imagine how women will ever get a fair shake in this business when someone as successful as Andrews is put thru the ringer like this.
 

RGREELEY33

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She testified that ESPN didn't believe her. They thought that she had done it for publicity -- and wanted her to go on national television to tell her story in order to get back on the sidelines. Abso-fucking-lutely disgusting. She should sue the shit out of them next.
 

allstonite

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She testified that ESPN didn't believe her. They thought that she had done it for publicity -- and wanted her to go on national television to tell her story in order to get back on the sidelines. Abso-fucking-lutely disgusting. She should sue the shit out of them next.
That's ridiculous. Barstool used to post stuff about that all the time and it's one of the reasons I stopped reading it back in college. It felt too far but at the same time it was Barstool and it was part of their thing. ESPN you would think should have more sense than that. Although a little bit after that I did start to drastically reduce my ESPN intake to where it's almost nothing besides the occasional live game at this point. Looks like I made a good choice. I hope they fail miserably over the next decade.
 

grimshaw

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It's been very difficult listening to her testimony and having to hear her recount about watching the video with her dad. Can you imagine?
The silver lining is that it just gives ESPN another black eye. They can't hemorrhage money fast enough for my liking.
 

CantKeepmedown

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Lou Merloni even said today that he initially thought she was doing it for publicity, as her career took off right after it happened. But he said that after watching her testify, it was clear this was no stunt. And D&H said earlier on when talking about it that a lot of texts were coming in saying it was a money grab and it was 8 years ago so she should get over it. It's unbelievable.
 

Montana Fan

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She testified that ESPN didn't believe her. They thought that she had done it for publicity -- and wanted her to go on national television to tell her story in order to get back on the sidelines. Abso-fucking-lutely disgusting. She should sue the shit out of them next.
There were a ton of posters on this site who made the, did it for publicity, accusation. It's too bad that the thread is long gone.
 

RGREELEY33

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There were a ton of posters on this site who made the, did it for publicity, accusation. It's too bad that the thread is long gone.
I can understand people thinking that at the time based on what we have seen with sex tapes and the like, but I think it is different when your employer takes a stance like that, tries to basically profit from her situation, and makes it a pre-requisite for getting your job back. That is insane. Does ESPN even have an HR department at this point?
 

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Lou Merloni even said today that he initially thought she was doing it for publicity, as her career took off right after it happened. But he said that after watching her testify, it was clear this was no stunt. And D&H said earlier on when talking about it that a lot of texts were coming in saying it was a money grab and it was 8 years ago so she should get over it. It's unbelievable.
The guy who did this has already been convicted and spent time in jail.

The point is that if Lou Merloni wasn't sure if this was real or not until Andrews testified in this trial, he's as dumb as a sack of hammers.
 

Average Reds

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There were a ton of posters on this site who made the, did it for publicity, accusation. It's too bad that the thread is long gone.
The memory of that thread made me wince when I read about her ordeal at ESPN over the past few days. I never thought she made it up, but none of us here (myself included) covered ourselves in glory in that thread.
 

Dan Murfman

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I'm as dumb as a sack of hammers. I never knew the guy went to jail. And I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I was in my car and listening to people call up and say she should just get over it.
 

CantKeepmedown

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The guy who did this has already been convicted and spent time in jail.

The point is that if Lou Merloni wasn't sure if this was real or not until Andrews testified in this trial, he's as dumb as a sack of hammers.
Good point. Although I'm sure Lou isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, I probably worded it poorly. I think it was more of how he initially felt when the incident occurred. And then when he saw her testify, he thought back and felt bad about it.
 

Van Everyman

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There were a ton of posters on this site who made the, did it for publicity, accusation. It's too bad that the thread is long gone.
Is that thread really gone? In the OP, I chose not to revive the Erin Andrews Replaces Pam Oliver at Fox thread precisely because there were a lot of offensive posts in there.
 

drleather2001

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I can understand people thinking that at the time based on what we have seen with sex tapes and the like, but I think it is different when your employer takes a stance like that, tries to basically profit from her situation, and makes it a pre-requisite for getting your job back. That is insane. Does ESPN even have an HR department at this point?
HR would do whatever it could to protect ESPN
ESPN are scum, but I'm not sure they did anything illegal. Being a shitty, unsupportive, insensitive, employer is just fine by the higher ups until it means expensive lawsuits.
 

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The memory of that thread made me wince when I read about her ordeal at ESPN over the past few days. I never thought she made it up, but none of us here (myself included) covered ourselves in glory in that thread.
+1
 

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I am sympathetic with Erin Andrews. I would kill someone if they did that to my daughter. However suing the hotel chain for $75 million? Having spent a long period of time in a major hotel chain upper level management, I find it hard that they should be liable to that degree. These things are hard and emotional of course. I have not seen the video and I have not followed this case too closely. If anyone other than the scum who is in jail it should be ESPN for the horrible way she was treated. That being said she has surely capitalized on the name recognition with new contracts, endorsements, Dancing With The Stars gigs, etc; and moved on nicely with her life. So good for her but man $75 MM?
 
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E5 Yaz

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An attorney representing a hotel ownership group denies showing the peephole video of sportscaster Erin Andrews at a Nashville restaurant.
Neal Peskind said in a statement he was having dinner with two friends when they began showing the naked video. He said he asked them to turn it off.

In a statement to INSIDE EDITION, Peskind said: "I was at a private dinner meeting with friends. They brought up the allegations, and they started viewing the video. I asked them to stop, and while they did so, it was not as quickly as I had hoped. This incident has been blown into something it was not. I would never disrespect Ms. Andrews and what she has been through. This is a very unfortunate situation that should not be a reflection on West End Hotel Partners or to our commitment to the issues in this case surrounding what happened to her. I sincerely apologize for my participation in what happened."

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/03/02/erin-andrews-hotel-exec-watched-nude-video/21321798/
 

Buffalo Head

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I am sympathetic with Erin Andrews. I would kill someone if they did that to my daughter. However suing the hotel chain for $75 million? Having spent a long period of time in a major hotel chain upper level management, I find it hard that they should be liable to that degree. These things are hard and emotional of course. I have not seen the video and I have not followed this case too closely. If anyone other than the scum who is in jail it should be ESPN for the horrible way she was treated. That being said she has surely capitalized on the name recognition with new contracts, endorsements, Dancing With The Stars gigs, etc; and moved on nicely with her life. So good for her but man $75 MM?
So, how long have you been with the West End Hotel Group?
 

joe dokes

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I am sympathetic with Erin Andrews. I would kill someone if they did that to my daughter. However suing the hotel chain for $75 million? Having spent a long period of time in a major hotel chain upper level management, I find it hard that they should be liable to that degree. These things are hard and emotional of course. I have not seen the video and I have not followed this case too closely. If anyone other than the scum who is in jail it should be ESPN for the horrible way she was treated. That being said she has surely capitalized on the name recognition with new contracts, endorsements, Dancing With The Stars gigs, etc; and moved on nicely with her life. So good for her but man $75 MM?
The numbers in a complaint are fake/placeholders. Let's see what he actually asks the jury for at closing argument.
 

InsideTheParker

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NBC News has covered the trial nightly and their take on the restaurant incident was that a waitress was appalled by the viewing of the video and reported it to the media. I was under the impression that she indicated discomfort to the those at the table before it was turned off. Perhaps I misunderstood, however.

As for the liability of the hotel, it arises from the fact that the stalker asked for and was given the room next to Andrews. This is inexcusable. Whether it was a bribe to an employee and against hotel policy is one of the issues at stake.

As for the $75 million---that's what civilized countries offer as a substitute for Andrews' father killing the guy.
 

Prodigal Sox

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As for the liability of the hotel, it arises from the fact that the stalker asked for and was given the room next to Andrews. This is inexcusable. Whether it was a bribe to an employee and against hotel policy is one of the issues at stake.
I was under the impression that the stalker went into a restricted, back of the house, kitchen area, used a kitchen phone to call the front desk, indicated he had a room service order for Andrews but had forgotten the room number and the front desk employee gave him the room number. He then made a reservations and when he checked in asked for the empty room adjacent to Andrews by the specific room number.

If the above is true than I would think the hotel still has liability but it is not as cut and dry as a hotel employee haphazardly giving out a room number to a stranger or taking a bribe. At a minimum, if the stalker was seen in a restricted area, without a name tag or uniform, someone at the hotel should have nicely confronted him about what he was doing there. And every major hotel chain has a policy about giving out room numbers without seeing some form of identification that matches the registered name on the room. As a matter of fact, most will not even give the room number verbally, but will write it down and hand it to the individual.

In addition, the parties to the suit are not Marriott International, but the hotel owner and independent management company. Marriott International has a franchise agreement with the hotel but does not own it or manage it. I believe they were previously released from the law suit.
 

j44thor

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I was under the impression that the stalker went into a restricted, back of the house, kitchen area, used a kitchen phone to call the front desk, indicated he had a room service order for Andrews but had forgotten the room number and the front desk employee gave him the room number. He then made a reservations and when he checked in asked for the empty room adjacent to Andrews by the specific room number.

If the above is true than I would think the hotel still has liability but it is not as cut and dry as a hotel employee haphazardly giving out a room number to a stranger or taking a bribe. At a minimum, if the stalker was seen in a restricted area, without a name tag or uniform, someone at the hotel should have nicely confronted him about what he was doing there. And every major hotel chain has a policy about giving out room numbers without seeing some form of identification that matches the registered name on the room. As a matter of fact, most will not even give the room number verbally, but will write it down and hand it to the individual.

In addition, the parties to the suit are not Marriott International, but the hotel owner and independent management company. Marriott International has a franchise agreement with the hotel but does not own it or manage it. I believe they were previously released from the law suit.
Watched the Today Show this AM and Jeff Rossen did an undercover report on exactly that. It was shocking how easy he obtained adjacent rooms and in some cases actual room #s of guests just by knowing their name. There were a handful of hotels that didn't give out any info but for the most part they all failed miserably.

http://www.today.com/news/would-your-hotel-give-your-room-number-out-without-consent-t77521

I would expect some swift action to shore up this security vulnerability.
 

barbed wire Bob

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Would someone requesting a specific room number at a hotel raise at least a few questions? Is that a typical request from a guest?
I travel frequently for work and I do that all the time. For example, at one hotel I stay at I always request a particular room because it has south facing windows and the windows go from ceiling to floor.
 

Prodigal Sox

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Watched the Today Show this AM and Jeff Rossen did an undercover report on exactly that. It was shocking how easy he obtained adjacent rooms and in some cases actual room #s of guests just by knowing their name. There were a handful of hotels that didn't give out any info but for the most part they all failed miserably.

http://www.today.com/news/would-your-hotel-give-your-room-number-out-without-consent-t77521

I would expect some swift action to shore up this security vulnerability.
Yep, pretty shoddy. Although I'm sure there is not 100 percent compliance with policy at their hotels either, I do need to point out, in this particular case of a sample size of one, the Marriott hotel did not give out that information or even put the second guest next to the first.
 

Prodigal Sox

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Would someone requesting a specific room number at a hotel raise at least a few questions? Is that a typical request from a guest?
BWB responded to this already put it's not that unusual especially for guests that stay at the same hotel frequently. The front desk personnel generally get to know and recognize these customers since they are at the hotel so often. And now even first time stays can do a lot of research online with forums such as FlyerTalk and ask for specific rooms. Basically the same behavior you would see in regards to airline seat preferences you are starting to see at hotels also. Some hotels are experimenting with allowing customers to request specific room in advance of check in. I assume if there is enough demand for this they will start charging a fee they same way airlines do today.
 

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Requesting a specific room is not unusual, but the reasons are location, quietness, or other comfort features that one gets used to when frequenting a hotel.

Like Prodigal Son says, it most probably won't be long before certain rooms require an extra nightly fee based on preferences.

In this particular case, requesting that room in particular had to have raised some eyebrows, and how he got Ms. Andrews's room was also suspect. The hotel is liable IMO.
 

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A bad thing was done to her - some of her reactions seem sincere, some seem a little to Lifetime movie (you know one has to be in the works) - but I think this suit is a money grab. Good for her, I guess. I don't have $75 million, do you?

This story happened a million years ago in the life of the Internet - but after this trial started, I bet her video is back to getting thousands of views per day... something she calculated was worth it. $75 million is a lot of money.
 
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“Developments in the case have been interpreted by some to mean that ESPN was unsupportive of Erin in the aftermath of her ordeal,’’ an ESPN spokesman told me Thursday. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been and continue to be supportive of Erin.”
And of course, because ESPN declares themselves to be something, we must surely all recognize that it is so.

I wish Finn had dug more into how ESPN had insisted that she give an on-air interview about this before "allowing" her back on the air. As if she was the one who had done something wrong and needed to clear the air or atone for it before she merited their camera attention again.

I for one never suggested or thought that this might have been a publicity stunt, but I've certainly seen the video, and originally did so with quite a prurient interest attached. Having seen the nervous wreck this has left Andrews, I now feel some shame for that as well, not having fully appreciated what damage the incident did to her psyche. I mean, it's about the worst form of cyberbullying you can imagine - at least the kids to whom that mostly happens aren't famous, household names who can count on it being brought up periodically, everywhere they go, the rest of their lives.
 

RIFan

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A bad thing was done to her - some of her reactions seem sincere, some seem a little to Lifetime movie (you know one has to be in the works) - but I think this suit is a money grab. Good for her, I guess. I don't have $75 million, do you?

This story happened a million years ago in the life of the Internet - but after this trial started, I bet her video is back to getting thousands of views per day... something she calculated was worth it. $75 million is a lot of money.
Asking for a lot of money doesn't have to be a money grab. You can rationalize the amount as a level that is painful enough and noticeable enough that it will hurt them and make sure they (and other parties) put in the safeguards that prevent the same from happening to others. She was violated and it obviously affected her deeply. I highly doubt there was any mental trade off of money for more people seeking out the video.
 

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And of course, because ESPN declares themselves to be something, we must surely all recognize that it is so.

I wish Finn had dug more into how ESPN had insisted that she give an on-air interview about this before "allowing" her back on the air. As if she was the one who had done something wrong and needed to clear the air or atone for it before she merited their camera attention again.

I for one never suggested or thought that this might have been a publicity stunt, but I've certainly seen the video, and originally did so with quite a prurient interest attached. Having seen the nervous wreck this has left Andrews, I now feel some shame for that as well, not having fully appreciated what damage the incident did to her psyche. I mean, it's about the worst form of cyberbullying you can imagine - at least the kids to whom that mostly happens aren't famous, household names who can count on it being brought up periodically, everywhere they go, the rest of their lives.
I did get quite a bit of info on background that I didn't use. ESPN's preference was GMA, but didn't insist on it. They wanted her to address it before she returned to the air so it wouldn't be lingering over every appearance. They were fine with the Oprah choice -- made by Andrews's team, led by her dad -- once Oprah agreed to release quotes well in advance of the interview actually airing.
 

JimBoSox9

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A bad thing was done to her - some of her reactions seem sincere, some seem a little to Lifetime movie (you know one has to be in the works) - but I think this suit is a money grab. Good for her, I guess. I don't have $75 million, do you?

This story happened a million years ago in the life of the Internet - but after this trial started, I bet her video is back to getting thousands of views per day... something she calculated was worth it. $75 million is a lot of money.
From start to finish, this is pretty darn uncharitable, no? Hell there's probably less than 5% chance she picked the $75 million number herself. It's a position of negotiation pursuant to the lawsuit. It's a pretty empty number but fixating on that is informing the rest of your opinion, and badly.
 
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Thanks for clarifying, Chad.

I mean, that's a reasonable point of view for ESPN to take if their only concern is the risk of confusing their viewers. But what consideration, if any, was given to whether Andrews herself would want to address such an incredibly humiliating, deeply scaring event, in public, and about which she bore absolutely 0% fault? The framing of it as being "her choice", meaning her choice of show rather than her choice whether or not to confront her recent trauma on-air for the satiation of her bosses, seems almost Orwellian, not to mention tone-deaf. If she had been raped, would they have demanded that she go on-air somewhere to explain to her viewers that she hadn't been asking for it? I realize there are meaningful differences between rape and what happened to her, of course, but the damage to the psyche seems quite comparable.

Your framing here and in the article has the benefit of background info that I don't have, of course. But the tone suggests to me that you believe ESPN to be not just within their legal rights to ask, but also that it wasn't an unreasonable (and somewhat cruel) thing to demand of her in order for her to get her job back. Is that correct, do you believe their demands of her to be reasonable?
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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A bad thing was done to her - some of her reactions seem sincere, some seem a little to Lifetime movie (you know one has to be in the works) - but I think this suit is a money grab. Good for her, I guess. I don't have $75 million, do you?

This story happened a million years ago in the life of the Internet - but after this trial started, I bet her video is back to getting thousands of views per day... something she calculated was worth it. $75 million is a lot of money.
Perhaps she values her dignity more than you do.
 

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A bad thing was done to her - some of her reactions seem sincere, some seem a little to Lifetime movie (you know one has to be in the works) - but I think this suit is a money grab. Good for her, I guess. I don't have $75 million, do you?

This story happened a million years ago in the life of the Internet - but after this trial started, I bet her video is back to getting thousands of views per day... something she calculated was worth it. $75 million is a lot of money.
You're a prince, you know that? A prince.
 

crystalline

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but I think this suit is a money grab. Good for her, I guess. I don't have $75 million, do you?
You should look at the number from the other side -- choosing $75M isn't about Andrews, it's about setting a number big enough to make the defendant feel it.
Because if Andrews had asked for under a million, bean counters at hotels across the country would be thinking "Should we make it harder to find out guests' rooms? Nah, beefing up our privacy regs would cost more than $1M, and if a stalker does this to us we'll just pay".

If Andrews wants the hotel to improve she needs to ask for a lot in the suit.
 

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Perhaps she values her dignity more than you do.
That's an understatement. How many times has that video been viewed now? How many people have now seen her naked? A couple of hundred thousand? A couple million? A Marriott exec just got caught looking at the video with a couple of other guys at a restaurant during the trial, laughing it up the whole way. How much humiliation should she have to endure before fighting back and doing something about it?
 

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I think you guys are underestimating how good BoredViewer is at putting himself in the shoes of people who have nothing in common with him.
 

Average Reds

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That's an understatement. How many times has that video been viewed now? How many people have now seen her naked? A couple of hundred thousand? A couple million? A Marriott exec just got caught looking at the video with a couple of other guys at a restaurant during the trial, laughing it up the whole way. How much humiliation should she have to endure before fighting back and doing something about it?
My understanding is that the guy viewing the video in a restaurant was an exec of the company that owns/runs the hotel and not the Marriott corporation. Regardless, it almost defies belief that this event actually happened during the trial itself. My guess is that it will add a zero or two to the ultimate award. As it should.

I still can't wrap my head around how ESPN treated Andrews in the aftermath of the video surfacing. It's one thing to worry about whether the entire episode was a publicity stunt. (Such is the world we live in.) It's another thing altogether to meet with your employee, make a determination that she actually is a victim but not allow her to return to her job unless she is willing to talk about it on air.

I can understand how they felt that some sort of public explanation from Andrews was necessary to allow her to get through it. But you don't insist on a path that serves to traumatize the victim all over again and it's pretty clear from the testimony and coverage this week that this is precisely what happened. So regardless of the explanation that ESPN is rolling out now, this was a big fat fail on their part.
 

schillzilla

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ESPN is an awful company. Surprised they didn't make her appear nude in their 'Body' issue of ESPN the Magazine
 

edmunddantes

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Not as big as the top line seems. Liability is split between her stalker and hotel company. So part of it she will definitely never see. It's not a 50-50 split but pretty close.