Erin Andrews Testified ESPN Made Her Do Interview About Stalker's Tape Before Returning On-Air
Breaking down in tears at around the 1:03:00-mark, Andrews said that she did not know she was being videotaped. She was asked if people thought the incident was a publicity stunt.
“Probably for like three months everybody thought it was a publicity stunt,” she said. “The front page of the New York Post said ESPN Scandal. Fox News and CBS and everybody put up that I was doing it for publicity and attention and that really ripped me apart.”
She said she has never done and will never do nude photography, and that the hotel never informed her that a man who she did not know had requested the room next to hers. She said that if she had known she would have called the police and not stayed there.
She testified that she learned about the existence of the tape from Jimmy Traina, who was then at SI and she had a good professional relationship with, opened up her laptop, saw the tape for two seconds, and broke down.
Andrews said after a number of days, she was silent as the media coverage was growing “worse and worse.” She said that her legal team said she had to release a statement disclosing that it was indeed her in the tape, and that it wasn’t a publicity stunt, so that law enforcement would be involved.
“I don’t think anybody really believed me [that it wasn’t a publicity stunt] until Barrett was arrested,” she said.
The following portion of the testimony, which came after the above video ends, was transcribed by Entertainment Tonight:
"“Because there wasn’t an arrest, because we didn’t know where this happened, my bosses at ESPN told me, ‘Before you go back on-air for college football, we need you to give us a sit-down interview,'” she said. “That was the only way I was going to be allowed back.” “They were highly recommending it be GMA (Good Morning America), because ESPN and ABC are the same and they wanted it on GMA, but like my dad had said the other day, I didn’t want it to be a two-second thing,” she continued. “No, this is my life and I feel terrible about myself, and we want to figure out how this happened.” Andrews said she chose Winfrey because of her public claims that she had been the victim of sexual abuse in the past. “I talked to her producers,” Andrews said. “I told her I didn’t want to do it, but this was the only way I was going to be put back on air.”"
Shana Aaomi, the editor-in-chief of ET, tweeted:
ESPN has declined to comment on Andrews’ testimony.
UPDATE: An ESPN spokesperson sent the following statement: “Developments in the case have been interpreted by some to mean that ESPN was unsupportive of Erin in the aftermath of her ordeal. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been and continue to be supportive of Erin.”