Erin Andrews broke down in tears at several points during her testimony today as she described how she suffers from depression, anxiety and panic attacks on a daily basis because of a video that was taken of her while she was in a hotel room and then shared online.
The sportscaster testified about how a blogger friend was the one to call her in 2009 and tell her that there was a video circulating that claimed to show her naked in a hotel room.
Her testimony today came as part of a $75 million suit Andrews is bringing against the operator of the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, where she was staying while covering a football game for ESPN, which is owned by the same parent company as ABC News.
Andrews, 37, said she started screaming so loudly when she found out that employees got concerned.
"I even got a call from the hotel I was staying at because they wanted to know if everything was okay because I was screaming so loud," she said of the discovery of the video.
She was inundated with calls and called 911 when someone, who was later determined to be a photographer, climbed up her balcony at her Atlanta home, prompting her to go stay at her parents house.
On the stand, Andrews said one of the hardest parts came from the circulated claims that she had released the footage herself.
"This is me naked. Nobody knew that it was a stalker. Nobody knew that the Marriott had put him next to me," she said.
"It was being said that I did this for a publicity stunt. All we kept thinking as a family 'This is me! Who did this to me and who let this happen?'"
Eventually her lawyers prompted her to make a statement confirming that she was the person in the video and that it was not done purposefully, not only to quell the speculation that she set it up but to get help from the FBI. She and her father had to watch the video alongside agents to see if they believed she was not involved.
"I said 'Dad, I'm going to puke,'" Andrews said.
"We put my hand over my body because it was so embarrassing that the FBI had to watch it in front of me," she said, noting that they were trying to look for clues for which hotel room where the recording took place.
Her Stalker Speaks
The man previously arrested for filming Andrews through a hotel peep hole detailed how he found her room at a Nashville hotel and proceeded to tape her without her knowledge.
The taped testimony of Michael David Barrett, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison after being arrested in 2009, was played in court today.
Andrews was seen leaving the courtroom this morning just as Barrett's testimony started playing. She is expected to testify later today.
Barrett said that his "pretty ill-conceived plan" was to film Andrews and "try to sell the tape to someone" after realizing that she was "trending" online.
He said that he called the hotel operator from a house phone in the on-site restaurant in the Nashville Marriott, knowing that when he asked to be connected to Andrews' room, the room number would show on the screen.
He then went up to that floor and saw that the maid was cleaning the room next to hers. Barrett said that he then requested that room.
Barrett detailed how he used a hacksaw to remove the peep hole in Andrews' hotel room door and replace it with a plug.
He said that he made the recording after hearing the shower in her room turn off. He went to the area outside her door and put his cellphone up against the altered peep hole. He noted that she was in a state of undress when he began videotaping her, and he stood there filming for "several minutes."
"I’m not proud of what I did," he said in the taped testimony. "I don’t like what did."
Her Mother's Worry
An emotional point came earlier in the trial today when Andrews' mother Paula testified about how terrified her daughter was after the video was filmed.
"We just kept telling her, 'It's not your fault. You're a victim. You've been assaulted,'" Paula Andrews said.
"She's always afraid someone's going to touch her, to get to her," she said.
Both Erin and Paula Andrews had to wipe tears from their faces at different points in the testimony.
Paula Andrews said that her daughter, who she called a "workaholic," has thrown herself back into work but has changed after this incident.
"She was very, very cooperative with fans ... and now, unless there's somebody standing there to protect her, she does not interact with people. She's very, very frightened of crowds," Paula Andrews said.
She added: "She lost control, and by golly, she's going to show the world that she can still make a living and be passionate about what she loves, and I'm proud of her.”
West End Hotel Partners, which operates the Nashville Marriott, said that Barrett's criminal actions were his responsibility, not theirs.