Police have finally arrested the man who allegedly filmed nude videos of ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews through a peephole in a hotel room. He’s an insurance agent named Michael David Barrett, 47, from Westmont, Ill., who appears to have no direct connection to Andrews. Police have charged him with interstate stalking after allegedly taping videos of Andrews walking around hotel rooms naked, trying to sell the videos to TMZ, and then posting them online. Classy guy!
Of the eight pervy videos filmed of 31-year-old Andrews, seven appear to have been filmed at one hotel, which she identified as the Marriott Nashville in Tennessee. Well, what do you know? Authorities said Barrett allegedly booked a hotel room next to Andrews at the Marriott Nashville, as confirmed by computer records which state: “INFO-GST RQST TO RM NXT TO [Erin Andrews].” The eighth video appears to have been filmed at the Ramada Conference Center in Milwaukee, where Barrett also made a reservation in a room next to Andrews. What’s even ickier is the peephole on the doors in both of Andrews’ hotel rooms had been modified with a hacksaw so that cell phone videos could be filmed! Andrews’ attorney, Marshall Grossman, said whoever filmed his client, “he wasn’t an accidental tourist. He had her in his sights.” Ew.
In a statement, Andrews has said, “For my part, I will make every effort to strengthen the laws on a state and federal level to better protect victims of criminal stalking.” Too bad there’s nothing she can do about all the people who watched these videos online or on TV—for example, when Bill O’Reilly showed a clip of it on his show. (Thanks, Bill.) No wonder Andrews told Oprah that when she found out the videos were online, she called her parents, screaming, “I’m done. My career is over. I’m done. Get it off. Get it off the Internet. Get it off.”
I hope Andrews really does take on the cause to protect women who get filmed without their consent … because something tells me this cell phone video stuff isn’t going away. [CBS News]