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Occasionally sobbing, sportscaster Erin Andrews testified Monday about her frustration as nude videos of her propagated across the Internet despite her willingness to pay "whatever it took" to remove them.
Andrews began testifying late in the day in Nashville, Tennessee, in her lawsuit against Michael David Barrett, the man who stalked her and posted the videos, which he shot in hotels in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio.
Andrews is seeking $75 million from Barrett and from the owner and manager of the Marriott at Vanderbilt in Nashville. The hotel companies say that Barrett is solely to blame and that he alone should be held responsible.
Andrews, now a Fox Sports host, was working for ESPN when she checked in to the Nashville hotel in September 2008 to help cover a college football game. She broke down several times as she talked about how she was mortified that many in the public assumed that she'd OK'd the video as a publicity stunt.
"That ripped me apart," she told jurors in Davidson County Circuit Court. "I'm so angry. This could have been stopped."
A computer science professor testified last week that his "conservative estimate" was that at least 16.8 million people saw of the videos, some of it on porn sites.
"I saw it for, like, two seconds, and I was, like, 'Oh, my God!'" Andrews testified. "I was just screaming. I was naked all over the Internet, and I didn't know what it was."
Andrews said her "life is different now" and will never be the same.
"I don't want my dad or my boyfriend on the sideline," she said, because of constant heckling from fans shouting abuse like "I've seen your this, I've seen your that."
Andrews returned to the courtroom after bolting out before a videotaped deposition of Barrett was played for the jury. In the video, Barrett said he stalked and secretly shot the nude videos to sell because he needed the money.
Barrett — who said he'd also recorded 10 other women, whom he chose at random — said he posted the recordings online after celebrity gossip website TMZ refused to buy them. He picked Andrews because she was popular and she was trending on Yahoo, he said.
"I knew what I was doing was wrong," he said. "I knew it was a horrible thing."
Barrett spent 2½ years in federal prison after he admitted to renting hotel rooms next to the Andrews three times and shooting nude videos of her in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and posting them on the Internet.
Barrett was an executive at a Chicago-area insurance company when he shot the video at the Nashville hotel. He didn't say why he was in financial difficulty, but testimony showed that he gambled online.
Barrett said he was able to alter the peepholes on the front doors of Andrews' hotel rooms so he could pull them out and hold his cellphone up to the empty hole and shoot the video. Andrews' hotel room in Nashville was in an alcove off the main hallway, so Barrett was able to get about 4½ minutes of video of her undressing.