Erin Andrews attends 2022 Fox Upfront in New York City.
Erin Andrews is reflecting on a harrowing experience in which she was publicly shamed after her privacy was violated.
The Fox Sports broadcaster will appear on an episode of Hoda Kotb’s podcast “Making Space” on Wednesday, but the “Today” show released a few quotes from her upcoming interview in which Andrews recalls how she felt after a nude video of herself went public.
“People thought it was a scandal, and I’m the square from high school,” Andrews told Kotb of the public’s unfair response.
In 2008, a stalker filmed the former “Dancing with the Stars” host undressing in her room at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University without her knowledge. The peeping Tom asked hotel staff to be placed in the room next to hers after an employee confirmed she’d be staying there on a specific date. The man then rigged a peephole in order to record her while she was changing, and released the footage online in 2009.
At the time of the video’s release, many believed that Andrews had staged the footage, and released it for attention and endorsements.
Andrews before a game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers while working for ESPN in 2006.
Andrews told Kotb that she initially learned about the video from a friend who worked at Sports Illustrated, and was initially in complete disbelief because she had zero recollection of taking or posing for such intimate footage.
“I’m single. I don’t have that going on in my life,” Andrews recalled telling her friend, who went on to insist the explicit video was of her.
Andrews also recalled her knee-jerk reaction after watching the footage for the first time — which was to call her parents for emotional support.
“My dad says he thought I had been in a car accident because I was just screaming,” Andrews said. “And I feel so bad. My parents were incredible. I was, God, in my 30s 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.”
Although Andrews has said in the past that she also became physically sick and began to vomit after first watching the footage, the leaked video was only the beginning of what would become a nightmare for Andrews.
According to a computer expert who later testified in a 2016 lawsuit that Andrews filed against her stalker and the companies that managed the Nashville Marriott hotel, the nude images of Andrews that were shot without her consent were seen nearly 17 million times online. Censored images of the nude footage were also plastered on the front page of newspapers.
“The front page of the New York Post said ‘ESPN Scandal,’” Andrews recalled during her trial. “To Fox News and CBS, everybody put up that I was doing it for publicity and attention, and that ripped me apart.”
To make matters even worse, her employer at the time (ESPN) told her that if she wanted to go back on air, she’d have to publicly speak about her trauma in a sit-down interview. Eager to get back to work and have some sense of normality, Andrews reluctantly agreed to do an interview with Oprah Winfrey, and said she broke down in the greenroom just before her trial.
“I was sitting there and I was just bawling at my parents,” Andrews recalled in court. “And I was just freaking out, and I just said, ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this. I just want to go back to college football. I don’t want to talk about what happened to me, why can’t I just be normal? Like, why can’t I go back?’”
Nearly three months after the video was leaked, the man who shot the video pleaded guilty in 2009 to stalking Andrews, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Andrews also won $55 million in her lawsuit.
Andrews’ full interview with Kotb will be available Wednesday.