Erin Andrews wins $55 million in civil lawsuit against stalker & Marriott hotel


For weeks now, legal watchers have been focused on the Erin Andrews case. Erin Andrews – a sports journalist and co-host of Dancing With the Stars – was suing her stalker and a Nashville Marriott (and the Marriott Hotel chain) for $75 million. The case revolved around a really awful incident in 2009 in which Andrews’ stalker, Michael David Barrett, was allowed to check into the hotel room next to Erin’s and film her through a peephole. Barrett put the peephole footage online, and the footage went viral. The incident was pretty disgusting, and Barrett later went to jail. Andrews’ lawsuit partially blamed the Marriott hotel for allowing Barrett such easy access to her. Well, the jury came back yesterday and Erin Andrews won.

A jury has awarded Erin Andrews $55 million as a result of her lawsuit against a Nashville Marriott and a man who took and posted a video of her. Andrews was asking for $75 million in her civil suit vs. West End Hotel Partners, which operates the Marriott at Vanderbilt, and Michael David Barrett, who tampered with her hotel room’s peephole to record a video of her while she was in her hotel room. Barrett then posted the video online in 2009. The jury found Barrett 51-percent responsible and the hotel to be 49-percent responsible, meaning Barrett is on the hook for approximately $28 million in damages while the hotel is ordered to pay $26 million.

Barrett was sentenced to 2½ years in prison after he was found guilty of stalking Andrews in the events surrounding the incident. Barrett had reserved the room next to Andrews’ and said he found her room through a directory within the house phone at the hotel. He explained his practices in a video played last week during the trial.

Andrews is currently a broadcaster for Fox Sports and co-hosts ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. She testified during the civil suit that she feels guilty her current boyfriend, Minnesota Wild hockey player Jarrett Stoll, didn’t know her before the incident because of the emotional toll it has taken on her.

“I feel really guilty he didn’t know me before this happened and to try to explain to someone who has questions about why I have trust issues, why I’m insecure, why I’m embarrassed; he doesn’t understand,” she said on the stand last week.

According to an ABC News reporter, jurors, which deliberated for approximately seven hours Monday, gave Andrews hugs and asked for autographs after the verdict.

[From Yahoo Sports]

All of the network and cable news shows have been running footage from Erin’s testimony in particular, and she has been understandably emotional about the whole ordeal. Unfortunately, this jury settlement is more of moral victory. Her stalker doesn’t have that kind of money, and Marriott is definitely going to appeal – TMZ had a run-down of how Erin won’t be seeing much of this $55 million. I would think that Marriott might be wise to offer her a seven-figure settlement just to save everyone further hassle. Still, it’s a moral victory and I’m glad that Erin stood up for herself.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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82 Responses to “Erin Andrews wins $55 million in civil lawsuit against stalker & Marriott hotel”

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  1. Arlene says:

    What a horrible violation of her privacy. Disgusting man.

  2. Sam says:

    You know what the sad thing is? People on social media were complaining that she got too much compared to others or how the results would have been different had it been a male. And I’m just over here like THIS is what is wrong with our society. Instead of supporting a woman who has clearly suffered emotionally, society is criticizing the result because it’s above the norm. Like okay.

    • Jenns says:

      Not to mention all the terrible jokes people were making over this. Jenny McCarthy tweeted this:

      “Dear Peeping Tom, I’ll be staying at the Marriot in St Louis next week.”


      • Thinker says:

        Terrible. Jenny McCarthy is tasteless. Ew.

        Erin Andrews was completely victimized and Marriott, an international corporation with huge profits that an easily pay $55 million, was certainly responsible for giving her stalker such easy access to her, directly leading to the abhorrent violation of her privacy.

      • doofus says:

        Thinker, agree with everything you wrote.

        I’ve heard such horror stories about hotel employees not being careful about stuff like this…a stalker who told the employees that he “lost his key” and was let into some woman’s hotel room and he raped her. did they think to CALL the woman in her room to see if she was married and if her husband was staying wit her? no, just let the guy in. and it happens all too often. they are responsible, and they are liable and they should SHUT UP AND PAY. I’ll probably never stay at a Marriott again and I’m sure other women feel the same way.

      • Insomniac says:

        Yeah, I saw a couple of those on my Facebook feed. Because violating a woman’s privacy is LOL funny.

      • Missy says:

        Dear Jenny McCarthy, STFU and sit down. Erin Andrews is a respected sportscaster in a male-dominated field. It was important for her to be taken seriously and not be seen as a sex object. Now, whenever she walks into a room, she worries that everyone has seen her naked. Imo, the beach of privacy has irreparably damaged her promising career.

        But I guess that’s not something a famewh*ore would understand.

      • lucy2 says:

        Just when you thought Jenny couldn’t be any more obnoxious.

      • Crocuta says:

        I hate it when people treat events like this as some kind of joke. Or when they insist you should be flattered for having a stalker.

    • Alex says:

      This. I remember this incident clearly because I was in college at the time and my school is located right near this hotel. It was all over the news and campus pretty quickly and everyone I knew was horrified. Good for her getting closure and shame on ESPN and that creepy business man for exploiting her (on tv) and joking about it.

    • milietan says:

      OMG I’m with you Sam! But I think social media and comment sites like this one bring out the worst in people, where they think they can freely judge and criticize people behind their veil of (false) anonymity.

  3. Kiki says:

    I deserves every single cent that is offered to her. A proud victory for Erin Andrews.

    • Anne tommy says:

      Sorry, it’s a horrible dreadful thing that happened, she deserved substantial damages, but when you compare it to awards to people who have been left quadriplegic or in a coma due to negligence, it seems disproportionate.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Yes but that only means these people didn’t get enough, not that she doesn’t deserve this amount. Which she won’t get anyway. But I think we need to celebrate this one victory rather than go in a negative direction just because not everyone in the entire world saw justice served the way she did. She won. Now let’s move on to those who are still waiting.

      • Thinker says:

        That’s not your job Anne Tommy, the jury made that decision based on the duty breached by Marriott, and the harm it caused Erin to suffer. It may not seem fair to you, but this is not an ordinary negligence case. This was a willful breach.
        Legally, hotels are held to an additional standard to take care against harm to their patrons. This isn’t an ordinary defendant. Marriott should have known better than to give access to a person’s room without their consent. Besides that fact, the Marriott brand has significant revenues and can easily pay $55 Million, most negligence defendants cannot.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Hell, no. I think this story is terrifying. She’s only lucky that nutter didn’t creep into her room, rape her, and dismember her in the middle of the night.

        This story is SO creepy. Sounds like she had a regular room there. Someone should’ve been more aware.

      • perplexed says:

        The amount set will probably scare hotels into taking better care with procedures. I think the amount makes sense (because she deserves it and so that hotels won’t make a mistake like this again).

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Thanks for saying what I wanted to, as well.

    • Elsie Otter says:

      I agree. @Anne tommy, a large portion of the $55 million is what the legal system calls punitive damages. A lot of times, punitive damages are extremely high. For example, in the infamous McDonalds coffee spill case, the plaintiff was awarded $3 million.

      Punitive damages are awarded by the jury. These damages are intended to punish the defendant (usually when the defendant does something intentionally malicious) and also to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

      • Kate says:

        Actually, I don’t believe the award includes punitive damages. This was a negligence case. The damages are compensatory, for emotional distress, also awarded by a jury — 16 million views.

      • BabyJane says:

        She (McDonald’s vic) was AWARDED that much by the jury, but she didn’t actually receive even close to that amount.

      • Elsie says:

        Hi Kate, this was a breach of privacy case. Marriott intentionally breached Andrews’s privacy – this was not a negligence case. Also, yes, the official breakdown of the damages has not been released yet, but it’s almost certain that punitive damages are at play. When a jury award is shockingly high, it’s generally due to the inclusion of punitive damages.

      • Elsie says:

        @BabyJane Yup! McDonald’s appealed the trial court decision of $3mil in damages, and the award was significantly reduced by the appellate court.

        Mariott will likely appeal the trial court decision, and thus will probably get damages reduced by the appellate court as well.

  4. cannibell says:

    I can’t even imagine. The testimony included a statement that that horrid video had been viewed by more than 16 million people and would never fully go away. No amount of money can really compensate for that, but I hope Marriott has to pay her a substantial amount and that every dime Barrett ever earns again goes straight into Andrews’ bank account.

    • Ramona Q. says:

      The fact that 16 million people, (men, let’s be real), watched that video makes me sick. 16,000,0001 men violated her without a second thought, not just the one with the camera. UGH ARG

      • Erinn says:

        You’d be surprised how many women view that shit. Think of how many people looked at the J-Law et al nudes just to see if they were real. It’s not just about men here – it’s society that’s the problem.

      • BabyJane says:

        No, observing a crime does not make one complicit in it.

      • dana says:

        Actually, I’m pretty sure that people who “observe” pornography that features minors are absolutely complicit in the crime they are watching, which is why they will face legal penalties if they’re caught doing it.

        Not to mention the trend we’re seeing in high school/college rape cases of the rapists taking photos/videos of the victims during the assault – people who watch & disseminate such videos & pictures all over social media are absolutely complicit in the victimization & humiliation of rape victims.

      • BabyJane says:

        No, observing child pornography is actually not illegal. It’s owning and disseminating it that is. So I stand by my statement- these people who watched the video are NOT complicit in this crime. (They’re dicks, but they’re not criminals.)

      • dana says:

        You are incorrect – more specifically, you don’t seem to understand how “ownership” is defined when it comes to child pornography.

        And of course, anyone who views such materials is complicit in creating demand for it, thus leading to more children being abused.

      • BabyJane says:

        Dude, no- if I walk into your living room and you have child pornography playing, I am not complicit in your crime! Possession, creation, and dissemination is illegal. Now, most people view it on their own computers or phones, at which point it’s considered ownership I guess. But no court will find someone guilty of criminal activity for observing a crime. See Kitty Genovese, Queens, 1964. So sure, some of the men and women (and probably kids) who viewed the Erin Andrews video possessed it. And all of them are vile people (assuming they viewed it voluntarily and intentionally). But they’re just simply not criminals, especially to the degree that the producers of this video in question are.

    • doofus says:

      and the hotel manager was seen viewing at a table in the dining area of the hotel, if I’m not mistaken. such a scumbag.

      • Crumpet says:

        Oh wow.

      • lucy2 says:

        What I read yesterday is that he was showing the video around and criticizing her appearance (check his photo out sometime), and a waitress or someone overheard him and I guess reported it to someone.

      • Tourmaline says:

        OMG that is just sickening.
        I can’t believe how the hotel violated her privacy by practically leading this disgusting guy into her room and that was well before I had heard about this part.

      • hogtowngooner says:

        Just shows how seriously he took the crime Erin was a victim of that took place in HIS hotel. Women being violated is such LOLZ right?? What a despicable person.

      • Colette says:

        He wasn’t the manager.He was one of the owners of the hotel.He claims the friends he was having dinner with was showing the video,not him.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      This!! The fact that the video was so widely viewed and is still accessible adds to the harm done to her. I think she deserves the award, what she went through is exceptionally horrible.

    • Zwella ingrid says:

      I’m not trying to be contentious here, but there may be part of the story I don’t know. How could the hotel have prevented it? They can’t not fill a room just because a celebrity is in an adjacent room. Can someone explain to me in what way they were negligent?

      • Lady D says:

        Creepy stalker requested the room next door to her and the hotel willingly accommodated him.

      • Amy says:

        The stalker asked for her room number from the hotel frontdesk, they provided it to him. Then stalker requested to be booked in the room right next to her’s.

  5. Nancy says:

    The world is full of pervs. I never liked her, too cocky and full of herself, but she deserved to win the case. I remember Elizabeth on the View right after it happened, gave her opinion that Erin was wearing extremely revealing costumes on DWTS so how shamed could she be and she tearfully had to apologize but I know she meant every word of what she said. The perv did prison time but he won’t change, they never do. I would donate some of the award to sexually abused women who can’t afford the legal costs that she had no problem with. Sick situation all around, but at least she nailed them but that video will never disappear.

  6. Beatrix says:

    They better pay up. The allowed this to happen so they are responsible. As for the sex offender/stalker he can eat from garbages for all I care. That man is vile. Spike up your while you are not looking kind of vile. I’m glad he served time.
    But in my country (France) he wouldn’t have spent a day in jail and 26 millions € wouldn’t be even consider maybe 10 000€ and I’m being generous here…

  7. HeyThere! says:

    I was hoping Celebitchy would cover this at some point. I can’t imagine having something like that happen to me. I would never leave my house again. The mental hell this woman has to deal with is awful. I am bummed she will never see a lot of the money. She deserves every penny of that 55 million!

    I also am glad this case was taken seriously. The fact that this even happened is so beyond terrible of the hotel and that creep. We don’t give mental health enough attention to how important it is, and hopefully this court case is a step in the right direction. I hope this gives her closure and she is able to move forward with her life.

  8. Jayna says:

    Good for her. What hotel would tell a man what room a single woman is in and place them next to her without being suspicious of their story. Single women have to be careful when traveling alone and staying in hotels. You would at least hope your hotel is not giving out private information. She is lucky much worse didn’t happen to her with this lunatic stalking her and having close access to her.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree. He asked for an adjoining room to hers. They should have confirmed with her that it was ok. What if he had killed her? This was horrible as it was, but they couldn’t be bothered to take the smallest step to insure her safety.

    • Betti says:

      The fact that he asked for the room next to her should have been a massive red flag to the hotel first and foremost. They failed in their duty of care end of.

    • Shambles says:

      I didn’t know he asked for the adjoining room and they allowed it. That’s inexcusable. Between this and the story I read last night about the woman who died trapped in an elevator after some maintenance workers shut the power off without properly checking to see if anyone was inside, I’m never getting out of bed again.

    • TotallyBiased says:

      He didn’t ask for the room next to hers by name. He got her room number (and I don’t understand how he got it from the house phone directory unless he hacked it somehow) , figured out what room would be next to it, and asked for that room. Not quite the same thing, although West End Hotel Partners is very much at fault for having a system that allowed him to figure out her room number.

    • Izzy says:

      He also changed out the peephole. He did this THREE SEPARATE TIMES. I am at a loss to explain how this could happen without another staffer at the hotel noticing someone who is not in a uniform of some kind, tinkering with the door.

  9. Scal says:

    GOOD. Considering the Marriott execs from this branch were playing the video in a bar LAST WEEK during the trial and laughing about it (so much so that the manager asked them to leave)-those people at the hotel learned nothing.

    The stuff coming out of this trial has just been awful.

    • megs283 says:

      That is disgusting. Poor Erin – people are so freaking sick.

    • I Choose Me says:

      OMG! What the hell is wrong with people? And that tweet from Jenny McCarthy makes me want to vomit.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I really can’t believe people could be so low. That is just disgusting.

    • kori says:

      i hope that’s what helped solidify her victory. To be passing it around at all is horrid but during the trial?! That’s you’re the defendant in (the hotel anyway)? Just such an arrogance and vileness–I’m glad they got slammed.

  10. INeedANap says:

    This is an important legal precedent and Erin Andrews is a warrior for seeing this legal battle through.

    And to everyone who claims that she is a phony and this benefitted her career — literally no one has ever gotten famous or wealthy for being stalked and assaulted. And she was already famous for being a female sports commentator. Screw you and the horse you rode in on.

    • kori says:

      They have gotten dead though. She could’ve easily been another and it’s sad people don’t realize that. I’m glad she won too.

  11. Betti says:

    Well done for standing ur ground and pursuing justice. I haven’t seen the video nor dome wish to but what’s the overview of what she was doing in the privacy of her room?

    More need to be done to deal with stalkers. I have been approached and followed by the same man who keeps asking men out even after being continually told ‘no am not interested’ – the latest incident was on sat eve at my local tube station. Next time I intend to take his photo and log a complaint with the police. Does he really think that he will wear me down with his creepy behaviour. Anyway, I hope she can move on from this.

    • Tulip says:

      Yeah, some people are just tenacious creepy idiots. Glad you have a plan in case things escalate. Keep safe and keep strong.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s scary! Good luck with it all, I think your plan is solid.

    • Dangles says:

      Sounds like a guy I used to know. The thing is he’d wear some women down and get them to hook up with him. I used to be amazed by his shamelessness.

  12. Zaytabogota says:

    She deserves every cent, what a horribly violating incident, bad enough that he got the footage of her but for it to be forever floating around the Internet for millions of voyeurs is beyond devastating.

    So many women are victims of similar and unfortunately much worse, often it’s former partners exacting revenge in the form of explicit naked photos or sex tapes, sometimes it’s rapists sharing footage of their victim. We need to introduce much stronger laws to protect women (and men) from creeps who seek to humiliate them. How can these photos/videos still be kept up? There needs to be criminal responsibility on the website owners as well.

    I hope she manages to recover emotionally from this.

  13. kri says:

    The horror of this chills me. My god. What if he had done more than just film her(horrid enough on it’s own).I mean, what if he tried to get into her room and assault her? Marriott needs to pay, and that sick freak needs to be deposited into a facility forever. This is how women are treated. It’s so disheartening. She deserves her victory.

  14. Triple Cardinal says:

    This has been a lesson for me. The next time I’m in a hotel room, I’ll make sure to cover the peephole. Maybe drape a shirt or scarf over it.

    Let’s see: bring Lysol for the bathroom and phone. Check the mattress for bedbugs. Cover the peephole. Pray your gear isn’t stolen while you’re out.

    So much fun, traveling.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Walk with your own sheets and towels. There’s no guarantee that the ones you meet there have been washed recently.

  15. JaneDoesWork says:

    I followed the trial as it was happening, and was disgusted by the details. Erin Andrews HAS to travel for work, and when she does, more often than not, she needs to stay in hotels. Think about that. Think about how paranoid you would be if this had happened to you without you even knowing it until half the people you walked past in the grocery store had already seen it. A male coworker had to alert her to it, because she didn’t even know it was out there. She STILL gets it tweeted at her on a daily basis, she still gets catcall references to the video from guys in the stands at games. All of that would be enough for her for a jury to say “this wasn’t okay and it shouldn’t have happened and you made it possible.”

    BUT, the real kicker here for me is the disgusting Marriott exec who was caught watching the video and joking about it with a group of people at dinner in a public restaurant AFTER testifying against her. The waitress was so appalled that she sent her manager over to make them stop. In a busy restaurant, during the dinner rush, a waitress had to track down her manager who then had to ask them to put it away…. That takes some time. I’m so glad Erin had the bravery to stand up, good for her, this is disgusting!

    • Keaton says:

      Well said. ITA with every word. And I am appalled and disgusted by the number of idiots out there making comments on this case similar to the comment Jenny McCarthy made. People are amazingly thoughtless.
      How hard is it understand what this did to her? How humiliated she feels. How vulnerable she feels. How paranoid she probably is. How much money is that worth to you? I’ll take emotional well being over millions of dollars any day.

    • Tulip says:

      Agree with you on all points. And that Marriot exec should be fired! Good on the waitress for getting her manager and shutting down that nasty piece of trash.

      Erin Andrews was right to pursue this deserves this victory.

  16. Keaton says:

    I am so glad for Erin Andrews. This situation makes me completely ragey when I spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it. I just wish that piece of garbage scumbag stalker was punished more for what he did too.

  17. NeoCleo says:

    It’s bad enough that he filmed her and put it out on the internet. What’s worse is he could have killed her. Stalkers are dangerous far beyond personal humiliation. She probably lives in constant fear. I know I would.

  18. bohemianmartini says:

    Good for Erin. I didn’t know too much about the case but after reading all the comments – wow. I will NEVER EVER stay at a Marriott or an affiliated hotel. I’d rather sleep in my car. It’s too bad she can’t go after the 16,000,000 individuals who viewed the tape. In my mind they’re almost as bad as the scum stalker.

    • me says:

      This can happen at ANY hotel. The best thing you can do is use an ALIAS when staying in a hotel (if that’s allowed not sure). Stalkers are insane.

      • Lyn says:

        Had a friend whose husband beat her in November. He said he would get her so I got her to a hotel. Get this…the hotel made her register under her actual name, because “it could later cause a billing problem with the credit card.” They said this AFTER I told them she was running from a man that assaulted her (while she was holding her 8 month old) THAT MORNING. I asked to pay cash. They then said that was OK but they had to take a credit card deposit and the room had to be under the credit card holder’s name. It would have done no good had I put it in my name because he would look for my name too. The biggest thing…I was told this by the woman manager!

  19. Michelle says:

    I am not a fan of Erin Andrews, but I do commend her for going after the hotel chain and I hope she gets every penny. It’s too bad that she could not have had 5 minutes alone with her stalker with no cameras and a baseball bat because if I had that opportunity, he wouldn’t be peeping anymore.

  20. TotallyBiased says:

    The hotel management is totally responsible for their horrific security lapse, and the exec who supposedly showed the video around should not only be fired but blacklisted from ever working in the hospitality industry again.
    She didn’t sue deep-pockets Marriott International, because they weren’t operating the hotel.
    She sued West End Hotel Partners, the responsible party.
    And they may use bankruptcy to get out of it.

  21. nicegirl says:

    This judgment is a victory. I applaud Erin for standing up for herself and showing other women how it’s done. It is very hard to do, and she pushed through the pain. Good for you, Erin!!

  22. DeeDee says:

    Good for Erin Andrews. It’s a terrible story and I still wonder why Marriott didn’t try to settle this with her–they had no case.

  23. Cee says:

    I’m sure she’s happy, and not because of the money. The hotel and her stalker have to be held accountable for what was done to her. That’s the real victory here.

    I hope this win helps her move forward and be able to live a life without shame.

  24. Chrissy says:

    I was really, really pleased with the outcome of this. I had a stalker in college who would call me from a restricted number, say disgusting things to me, ask me to stay on the phone while he jacked off, etc. He knew a lot of personal information about me (where I lived, where I went, etc.) but I never found out who this guy was – it was really scary. I went to the police and they couldn’t do anything about it because there was a legal loophole where they couldn’t track a restricted call without a warrant. I was also living by myself, and just really creeped out by the whole thing. I still get chills if I ever get a call from a restricted number. I just remember feeling really helpless with the police – and the worst thing was – I was scared to tell my parents about it because I was so embarrassed by it.

    Anyways, I was really happy to see the outcome of this because being stalked – no matter what extent – really does mess with your mind and makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. No one should feel like that and good for Erin Andrews for taking a stand for herself. I hope this sends a message to hotels that they need to be more careful with female guests and a message to any gross pervs who are doing this that they could get into serious legal and financial trouble.

    • Izzy says:

      Ugh. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for you. Sorry you had to go through that, and glad that you are safe, no thanks to law enforcement. 🙁

  25. Lady Mimosa says:

    Uh, I know this is a feminist blog, but she did not get killed. He already did jail time. Yes Marriot should look out for perverts,but hotels don’t do that. The stalker is to pay half, which she won’t get. She has to split her half with the lawyer.

    • Veronica says:

      Here I thought being relieved that a victim of a crime was validated by a court instead of being told it was her fault was just a normal human reaction. I’d had no idea being a feminist was a prerequisite.