Erin Andrews Trial: Defense Says Stalker, Not Hotel, At Fault for Secretly Recorded Nude Video
Hotel employees and experts said the hotel followed protocol
brightcove.createExperiences(); Defense attorneys in Erin Andrews‘s $75 million lawsuit against the Nashville Marriott have attempted to show that the 2008 secretly recorded nude video of Andrews taken in the hotel was a freak occurrence that couldn’t have been prevented.
Earlier in the trial, Michael David Barrett, testified that his motivation for filming Andrews, 37, was financial and that he was “not proud.”
On Thursday afternoon, the defense rested. Closing arguments will take place Friday morning before the case goes to the jury.
On Wednesday, defense witness Stephen Barth, a professor of hospitality law at Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College, said, “It’s my opinion that the [Nashville] Marriott met or exceeded its duty of care to Ms. Andrews on the day this incident occurred.”
In his testimony, Barth compared Barrett’s videotaping of Andrews to bed bugs, saying it’s “impossible to guarantee no bed bugs,” no matter how many times a bed is cleaned or how often rooms are inspected.
Barth also said security cameras would not have deterred Barrett because, in his opinion, Barrett acted without regard for consequences and that cameras only deter people who are thinking rationally.
“Mr Barrett was anything but that,” Barth testified, adding, “He was not going to be thwarted.”
The defense also called Herman Turk, Regional Vice President of Windsor Capitol Group, the hotel’s management company, who oversaw the Nashville Marriott in 2008. Turk testified the hotel scored 100 percent on its undercover security assessment examination in June 2008, three months before the video was taken.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Front Desk Clerk Said She Didn’t Share Information About Andrews
Defense attorneys have said that the hotel didn’t know that Barrett wanted to stay next to Andrews. Rather, they have claimed that Barrett learned her room number and then asked to stay in the adjacent room by the number.
On Thursday, front desk clerk Jacqueline Dement, who checked Barrett into the hotel, said that while she didn’t remember checking Barrett in, she wouldn’t have given out any information about Andrews because of hotel privacy policies.
“It doesn’t matter if I don’t remember the stay or not, I wouldn’t have given that out. That’s basic,” she said.
In his testimony on Wednesday, Turk said it was unlikely the front desk staff would have seen Barrett’s request, which was taken at a reservation center.
On Monday, Andrews testified that she would have called authorities had she known Barrett requested a room next to hers.
“The Nashville Marriott could have just called me and said, ‘We’re putting this man that requested to be next to you [next door]: Is this okay?’ And I could have called the cops and we could have caught him and could have stopped this,” Andrews testified.
“I’m so angry. This could have been stopped,” she said.