Erin Andrews and the $55 Million Civil Lawsuit
Recently, Sportscaster Erin Andrews was awarded a large $55 M civil lawsuit settlement regarding a stalker she had who videotape her naked without her consent while in the privacy of a Nashville, TN hotel room she was staying in.
In 2008, Michael David Barrett, her stalker, went to such extremes such as using a hacksaw to alter the peephole in the adjoining room just to obtain the footage. Unfortunately, for Ms. Andrews, the most frightening method, and the ultimate premise behind her lawsuit, was the way in which he was able to obtain access to her adjoining room: By easily conning his way through hotel security.
The video was posted on the Internet in July 2009 to the obvious embarrassment of Andrews and her supporters. Barrett was arrested that October for the crime he committed. She eventually filed a lawsuit and the verdict was ultimately reached early March 2016. It was ultimately found that West End Partners, the Nashville Marriott Hotel and Barrett were at fault. Barrett was ultimately deemed responsible for $28 million of the $55 million settlement.
Obviously with such a large settlement, one can easily assume the reactions by many would be posted to social media. And social media did not disappoint.
Although many hailed the decision as a victory and set the precedent for similar cases like this in the future, a vast majority of people were overwhelmingly critical of the settlement and offered their brutal input regarding their opinion of the verdict.
Why, would you say, would people have an issue in which someone’s most private moment was exposed for all to see? This takes invasion of privacy to a whole different level with the amount of conspiring it took to ensure he would obtain the footage.
So, why were there so many opposed?
One common complaint that many social media users voiced regarding the verdict was the monetary amount in which Erin Andrews “won“. Just reading through tweets and various posts in which described the verdict as a “win” is extremely unsettling.
To illustrate why, one can simply refer to the dictionary definition of win.
to finish first in a race, contest, or the like
Just by its very definition, to “win” in something means that all parties are involved and willing participants.
Yes, $55 Million is, without a doubt, a hefty settlement; however, for someone to have to endure such a severe invasion of privacy in the public eye- how can anyone truly say that this was a win when Andrews never wanted this to begin with?
Although the notation of “winning” the settlement irritated me, perhaps the most unsettling reactions to me came with many stating similar reactions such as below:
“Wish I was a female to get $55 M”
Seriously? My response and thoughts:
Having your personal moments exposed for all to see without their consent is extremely traumatic. She didn’t want, nor condone it.
Yes, $55 M is a large amount of money; however, the fact of the matter is she never wished for this to happen.
The hotel should be liable because of the simple matter that they’re providing a premium service to ensure guests are secure and have a safe place to stay. If someone was able to simply gain access to the room next to Erin Andrews, someone who is significantly more famous than the majority of us, then why shouldn’t they be held accountable for their faults? The error in their actions shouldn’t sit well to anyone – in particular, to females who travel solo for work or pleasure.
Why should anyone have to watch over their shoulder to ensure no ones watching over them?
No one should ever have to. It’s a basic human right we have and that shouldn’t be taken away.
It’s A Male Dominated Industry
Ahhhh the sports world. Although there are many female fans, it’s obvious and evident that the sports industry is dominated heavily by the male population.
So much so, that I believe it ultimately played a significant part in the ways in which people reacted to the verdict.
Erin Andrews was a sports journalist. Yes, a female sports journalist. A difficult field to succeed in, especially as a female. As a passionate female sports fan, I can relate to the amount of criticism and sarcastic comments from many males assuming a level of subpar knowledge of the sports world. It’s extremely frustrating and irritating- I can only imagine what Andrews had to endure as she made her way up in her career.
I admire her tenacity to overcome what she had to endure. She displayed a level of continued passion to her work and kept pursuing her dreams of being a sportscaster. How can anyone criticize her for that?
Many have criticized that her career was boosted as a result of the crime but let’s all think about this for a second. How about we compare other famous celebrities, not just in the sports world, but in Hollywood, as well?
How many athletes or actors have “comeback” stories after a self – inflicted drug addiction? Or a battery charge? Or a drunk driving experience? How many are applauded and lauded for their strength to overcome their demons and prevail? Why is that? Why is Erin being criticized?
In my opinion, it’s obvious why. She is criticized because of her gender.
It’s not fair, nor right, to say that simply being a female, we are compensated, or “benefit”, more for these crimes simply because we are female.
This needs to stop. Andrews simply wanted to provide commentary for the games. At the end of the day, she never could have imagined having to be a part of such a vicious game to which she never wanted to be a player.