Erin Andrews is suing a Marriott Hotel for $75 million. It’s a lot of money, but her pain and suffering are real and what she’s been through is horrifying. The hotel clearly failed to adequately protect her privacy, whether the legal case works in her favor or not. Even $75 million can’t undo what’s been done, with tens of millions of people having viewed the clandestinely filmed video on the Internet — and Andrews reasonably feeling even today like she’s never quite safe.
But the hotel didn’t film Erin Andrews. A perverted man did. His name is Michael Barrett and for his crime he served 20 months in prison. Is that enough? According to Barrett’s testimony in the trial, he stalked Andrews through the hotel operator, found out her room number, booked the room next door, took a hacksaw to her door to create a camera vantage, then took his video. Then instead of being gratified in his own twisted way with what he’d stolen (the images of Andrews naked and unawares), Barrett decided to share the video with the world. Not for profit, but for free — he just somehow figured he had a right to. Barrett was an insurance executive who traveled frequently. He has admitted to filming other women in hotels, too. That’s the kind of demented freak that’s commonly lying in wait for celebrities. It looks like an easy life, but there are monstrous trade-offs.