Erin Andrews plans to become an activist for stronger cyberstalking laws
After being awarded $55 million in damages in her privacy lawsuit against a stalker and a Marriott hotel, Erin Andrews has plans to help other victims of stalking.
Michael David Barrett, the man who pleaded guilty to interstate stalking after recording nude video of Andrews through a modified peephole in her hotel room door, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in 2010, which Andrews argued was not a harsh enough sentence. With the conclusion of her civil suit against Barrett and the hotel chain in March, Andrews plans to use her experience to fight for tougher laws against stalking.
From Emily Kaplan's MMQB feature on Andrews:
Some solace for Andrews came in the form of the civil trial verdict, delivered in March. The jury unanimously determined that both Barrett and the management company of a Nashville Marriott were liable for Andrews’ distress; she was awarded $55 million in damages. She felt empowered, she says, by “fighting for victims who don’t have the resources I have, who don’t have the stature of being on Dancing With The Stars or NFL sidelines, to go after the people who did this to them.”
“There’s somewhere I can fit in here, I just need to figure out where. I want to get in front of Congress, I want to get in front of lawmakers in D.C., I want to try to strengthen laws. I just need to find the right group to align myself with. I’m making that my project once the Super Bowl is over.”
Andrews's off-season will begin after Fox broadcasts the Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Falcons on Feb. 5, allowing her to shift her focus to her new project.
Read the full story behind Andrews's journey through the toughest year of her life, which included the civil trial and a cancer diagnosis, on The MMQB and in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.
– Erin Flynn