Sportscaster Hannah Storm says she is proud of colleague Erin Andrews for her “tenacity and strength to succeed” in the wake of a civil trial over a secretly recorded nude video of Andrews taken in 2008. Andrews was awarded $55 million in damages by a jury on Monday.
“My experience as one of the first women in the field of sports broadcasting taught me about the necessary tenacity and strength to succeed; Erin has displayed both of those traits in the years since her ordeal,” Storm, an ABC and ESPN sportscaster, says in a statement to PEOPLE.
“Her trial, no doubt, will contribute to greater safety measures and awareness regarding hotel security, that will benefit many others down the road,” the statement continued.
“I hope that now Erin will be able to move forward and understand that this incident by no means defines her – or her future.”
During the trial, Andrews’s father testified that she had been inspired by Storm as a young sports fan. In her statement, Storm says, “I was touched to hear Erin’s father, Steve, mention that seeing me on TV had inspired her to pursue sportscasting as a young girl; something she also shared with me the first time we met.”
Storm adds, “I’m so happy that she followed her dreams.”
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Andrews sued the operators of a Nashville Marriott for $75 million. While Andrews was staying in the hotel to cover a college football game, Michael David Barrett, a man in the adjacent room, shot the video of Andrews through a peep hole. Andrews contended at trial that she would have called authorities had she known that Barrett requested a room next to hers.
Andrews testified that the incident still haunts her: “All I wanted to do is be respected, be the girl who loves sports, and now I’m the girl with the scandal. It’s embarrassing.”
“I think about it every day,” she testified. “One of the worst thoughts I have is when I walk around a stadium … there’s always that thought, as I walk right by the stands, and I think, ‘My God, everyone in this stadium has seen that video.’ ”
Since the incident, Andrews testified that she takes extensive security measures when staying in hotels:
“I tell them there’s a man staying with me and I [give them] a name,” she said. “I tell them I want to be moved from the room I was pre-booked in and also say if someone asks to be next to me, they need to call me,” she testified.
She also testified: “I go up to my room alone. I will not allow anyone to bring my bags up for me. I cover the peephole.”
She added, “I look for lights, cameras . I look at the AC grates [and inside] the bathroom.”
Andrews will soon co-host Dancing with the Stars alongside Tom Bergeron, which premieres on March 21. In the meantime, she has been spending time with her family since the verdict, a source tells PEOPLE.