Sportscaster Erin Andrews, the victim of a peeping Tom who videotaped her nude, said ESPN also forced her against her will.
They made her talk about it on-air – just after the incident.
Yes, the ratings would be good, but bottom-line – Erin Andrews had her privacy and body violated by a pervert and instead of supporting her, ESPN told her she could not return to work until she publicly discussed her victimization.
Andrews took the stand on Monday in Nashville in the civil suit she filed against the man who shot the video as well as the Marriott where it was taken. Michael David Barrett, who filmed the four-minute video, was convicted and sentenced to 30 months behind bars.
Andrews is now seeking $75 million in damages from Barrett and the hotel — which she said never informed her a man had requested to stay in the room directly next to hers.
Andrews described being overwhelmed by a media frenzy surrounding the video while she also feared for her safety. As the video circulated online, she said she had no idea where it was taken or who was behind it.
“No one knew that it was a stalker,” she said. “No one knew the Marriott had put him next to me. Everybody thought it was just a publicity stunt.”
With still frames of her body splashed across tabloids and sports blogs, ESPN told her she would have to address the video publicly, she said.
“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,’” she said. “And that was the only way I was going to be allowed back.”
Her bosses recommended she speak on Good Morning America, she said, since the program fell under the same corporate ownership as ESPN.
“I didn’t want it to be a two-second thing,” Andrews said. “This is my life and I feel terrible about myself, and we want to figure out how this happened.”
Instead, she opted to speak on The Oprah Winfrey Show, knowing that Oprah herself had been a crime victim. Still, she said she didn’t want to do the interview. In the green room, she said, she was crying hysterically.
Andrews’ return to sideline reporting came the same week that the air date of the Oprah interview was announced.
ESPN later released a statement saying the network had supported Andrews throughout her time at the network.
Read the whole story HERE:
Here’s some Facebook reactions:
Very disappointed to learn that ESPN forced Erin Andrews to do an interview against her will as a pre-req to putting her back on air after the hotel peep hole video. That is absolutely despicable.
She goes on to state that “probably for three months, everybody thought it was a publicity stunt.
That ripped me apart.” For what its worth Erin, I never thought that for a second. You were a victim of a perverted crime, and you should not have been made to have any public conversations – whether in a courtroom, or on Oprah, to justify yourself.
I find it so appalling and disturbing that a national sports network would require one of its female sportscasters to give an interview about a situation in which she was the victim. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves.
This is revictimization at its finest, something rape victims are all too familiar with. I am disgusted that this happened. I am disgusted that the media isn’t vilifying ESPN for this disgrace. I am disgusted that this network will continue to make millions off sports fans while treating its female sportscasters horrendously.
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