Don't Become the Next Erin Andrews: Tips for a Safe Hotel Stay

Privacy

Hotels often offer a sense of security and comfort when on the road, but when ESPN reporter Erin Andrews checked into the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University last September, that was the last thing she got.

Insurance salesman Michael David Barrett allegedly traveled from his home outside Chicago to Nashville and specifically requested -- and got -- a room next to the sportscaster at the Nashville Marriott, according to court documents. He then allegedly used a cell phone to record video of Andrews changing while in her room.

VIDEO: Michael Barret is accused of secretly taking nude videos of Erin Andrews.
null

It apparently wasn't the first time Barrett learned the specific hotel Andrews was staying in and recorded her. According to a 35-page criminal complaint filed in a California federal court, in July 2008 he called 14 Milwaukee area hotels until he learned that Andrews would be at the Radisson Airport Hotel. He allegedly got a room there, altered a peephole in Andrews' room and then proceeded to record her.

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Travel Trends from ABC News on Twitter

Other Celebs Victimized

Andrews is hardly the first well-known person to have a guest stalk her or try to steal items from a hotel room.

In March, a homeless man tried to force his way into actor Jamie Foxx's room at the AKA Rittenhouse Square hotel in Philadelphia. He allegedly first attempted to get into the hotel by claiming that he was singer Beyonce Knowles' producer.

In 2003, rapper Nelly had more than $1 million in jewelry stolen from his room at the then Aladdin hotel-casino on the Las Vegas strip. Singer Michelle Branch, who also was staying at the Aladdin for an awards show, reported that computer equipment was stolen from her room.

And while the ease Barrett apparently had in pinpointing Andrews' hotel and actually getting a room next to Andrews might seem shocking, several security experts said it came as no surprise to them.

Erin Andrews Video Incident Avoidable?

Christopher Falkenberg, a former special agent with the U.S. Secret Service and now president of Insite Security, said getting such information is easy.

"What I suspect happened: He called around and found out where she was staying and said, 'Oh what room is she in, can I have the room next to her?' Or said something like: 'I'm with her party therefore I want to be next to her,'" Falkenberg said.

Computer records of Barrett's reservation state at the Nashville Marriott, according to the court documents include a line: "INFO GST RQST RM NEXT TO [Andrews.]"

Stephen P. Davis, a former New York City Police Department captain and now head of Davis Investigative Group, said that when an unaffiliated party requests an adjacent room, "That should have set off a question as to why are you asking."

Davis said the hotel industry is now likely to revisit its security procedures in the reservation process.

The Nashville Marriott -- which is not owned or managed by Marriott international -- refused comment, instead referring questions to Marriott's corporate headquarters.

"Our company takes the security and privacy of its guests seriously and we have been cooperating with authorities during the investigation," John Wolf, Marriott International's senior director of public relations said in an e-mail to ABC News.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
A Gilchrist county sheriffs car sits at the end of a trailer home where 7 members of a family were slain by their grandfather in Bell, FL, Thursday, Sept., 18, 2014. The grandfather, Don Spirit, pictured, also killed himself.
Phil Sandlin/AP Photo | Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office
PHOTO:
St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church in Ecorse Michigan
PHOTO: Phoenix police officers escort Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer, to the 4th Avenue Jail following his arrest, Sept. 17, 2014 in Phoenix.
The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski/AP Photo