Erin Andrews is opening up about the traumatic experience of finding out that she had been secretly filmed and having to tell her parents about the clips that were posted online.
In a new episode of the “Making Space with Hoda Kotb” podcast, the sports broadcaster, 45, began to tear up as she told the TODAY host about what it was like to deal with a stalker who filmed her undressing in a hotel room in 2008.
“People thought it was a scandal, and I’m the square from high school,” Andrews told Hoda, adding that she initially did not think the videos could have been her.
“I don’t do those things. I knew the second I got the phone call from my friend at Sports Illustrated that he said, ‘There’s this video.’ And I said, ‘No, there’s not. I don’t do that. I’m single. I don’t have that going on in my life.’ He’s like, ‘Erin, it’s you,'” she says.
Andrews was the victim of Michael David Barrett who stalked her and filmed her without her permission, later posting the explicit clips on the internet for the whole world to see.
After pleading guilty, Barrett was sentenced in 2010 on federal stalking charges. He admitted to sawing a peephole into the wall between his own hotel room and Andrews’ at a Marriot in Tennessee. He confessed to watching her while she was naked and said the crime was premeditated as he had requested the room next to hers. Barrett also filmed Andrews at a hotel in Columbus, Ohio and put those videos online in 2009.
Upon finding out about the video, Andrews says her mind went straight to having to share the news with her family members.
“My dad says he thought I had been in a car accident because I was just screaming,” Andrews told the TODAY host.
“And I feel so bad. My parents were incredible. I was, God, in my thirties when that happened, and I resorted to acting like a 15-year-old because, in terms of not wanting to deal, my parents really, they were on the forefront.”
Barrett served two and a half years in prison for interstate stalking and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. He also was slapped with $5,000 in fines and ordered to pay $7,366 in restitution by a Tennessee judge.
In 2016, he was once again ordered to pay Andrews, this time a whopping $27 million in damages by a jury in Tennessee. The Marriott at Vanderbilt — the hotel where the videos were taken — was responsible for another $28 million to be paid to the sports anchor.
The next year, Andrews opened up to Megyn Kelly in an interview on her podcast about the incident, saying she had no intention of forgiving Barrett at any time for what he had done.
“I have to relive it all the time,” she explained of living with post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident. “It’s shaped who I am as a person.”
“It messed with my family. It hurt my mom and dad so bad and it still does,” she said. “And you don’t get any sort of pass for doing that.”
The full episode of “Making Space with Hoda Kotb” releases on Wednesday, Nov. 22. New episodes are available every Wednesday — just search “Making Space” wherever you get your podcasts, or click here.