TV personality Erin Andrews is in court suing a Nashville Marriott hotel for failing to protect her privacy. In 2009, the sportscaster and Dancing With The Stars host was surreptitiously videoed while naked in what she assumed was the privacy of her hotel room. Michael Barrett, who booked a room next to Andrews and videoed her through a peephole, was sent to prison for taking the video and posting it online. An expert witness in the case says that 16 million people have viewed it — and Andrews is said to suffer from PTSD symptoms, as well as anxiety and depression because of the invasion of her privacy.
Many have likened the case to what became known as the fappening, when a number of celebrities had their private cloud accounts hacked with the result being nude photos splashed around the Internet — of people like Kaley Cuoco, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. While the results — the unwanted and illegal exposure of famous bodies to public — are similar and just as horrific, there is a major difference in the two cases. The celebrities exposed in the hacker case had created the images themselves; it was their storage of them that was compromised. In other words, Kate Upton and Kaley Cuoco weren’t stalked and filmed unwittingly. Their subsequent vigilance and legit paranoia can be therefore focused on making sure their images are securely stored. What Andrews experienced is a different beast. Andrews’ father told the court: “For eight years she has been terrified that there is something else out there, that there is someone else looking for her. She doesn’t trust anymore.”