Sports reporter Erin Andrews won a $55-million judgement yesterday in her lawsuit against a Nashville hotel where she was secretly videotaped while nude.
The man who admitted altering a peephole to take the video was also found liable. His share is 51 percent. The hotel's share is 49. The video was taken in 2009. The perpetrator is serving a two-and-a-half year criminal sentence.
Andrews provided emotional testimony about how demoralizing it was to find out millions of people had viewed the video online. Though the $55-million can't undo her trauma, it's a big award.
The jury decided on it after just seven hours of deliberation. If you've experienced a similar violation, where video or photos of you were posted online without your consent, how did you deal with it? What effect has it had on your life or work? Did you pursue legal action? Was it effective? And what are the implications for hotel security (Andrews claimed that the hotel bore partial responsibility because it facilitated the perpetrator's access to her room)?
His request for the room next to hers was granted by the hotel. He apparently found out where she was staying by pretending to be part of her travel party.
What effect might this judgement have on hotel security and privacy?
If you are or have been a victim of stalking and need help, the number to call is 855-4-Victim, or click here for a list of resources.
Chris Muller, Professor of the Practice in the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University
Alison Triessl, criminal defense attorney and president of the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts Bar Association