Erin Andrews: I Hope Stalker Never Sees Light of Day

Man pleads guilty to shooting nude videos of ESPN reporter.

October 4, 2009, 5:26 PM

Dec. 15, 2009 — -- In a blistering statement in front of a federal judge, ESPN reporter Erin Andrews called Michael David Barrett a "sexual predator" who should "never see the light of day."

Barrett, a former Illinois insurance executive, pleaded guilty today to interstate stalking after admitting he secretly taped and then tried to sell nude videos of Andrews shot while she was in hotels rooms.

Andrews, 31, said Barrett's actions "have had a devastating impact on me, my family and my career."

She told the court she is now routinely subjected to crude remarks by stadium crowds when she is on the job.

Barrett, 47, was arrested Oct. 2, 2009 at Chicago O'Hare Airport. He could face up to five years in prison but in exchange for changing his plea to guilty, Barrett reportedly would spend no more than 27 months behind bars.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2010.

"I hope that today's action will help the countless others who have been similarly victimized," Andrews said in a written statement after Barrett's arrest. "For my part, I will make every effort to strengthen the laws on a state and federal level to better protect victims of criminal stalking. I am also grateful to those who have expressed their concerns and good wishes for my family and me."

Police say Barrett made as many as eight separate videos and then posted them on the Internet starting last in July.

The FBI said one of the occasions was in Nashville, Tenn., where Barrett requested to stay in the hotel room next to Andrews. Barrett is suspected to have taken videos from his cell phone through the peephole in the reporter's door. According to the criminal complaint, Barrett cut the peep holes ahead of time so he could remove them quickly and easily without making much noise once Andrews was in her room.

The second videotaping incident officials say took place in a Milwaukee hotel although Barrett never checked in at the hotel there.

Officials say Barrett then attempted to sell, via e-mail, the grainy videos to entertainment Web site, where an employee notified Andrews' attorney. The FBI said the e-mails were traced back to Barrett.

TMZ, which is based in Los Angeles, did not post the videos, but they did surface across the Internet on adult Web sites.

Stalker Caused Erin Andrews Massive Fear

Investigators say Andrews suffered from anxiety and was always fearful that a stalker might be watching her. She even called 911 when the paparazzi camped outside her Atlanta home in July after the videos had surfaced.

"My last name is Andrews. I'm all over the news right now," she told the 911 operator. "I'm the girl that was videotaped without her knowing, without her clothes on in the hotel. ... They're looking at me through my window."

When the operator asked if she was OK, Andrews responded, "I did nothing wrong, and I'm being treated like ... Britney Spears."

Andrews has worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN's college football and college basketball broadcasts since 2004. The former sports dancer had amassed a large fan following even before the nude videotapes surfaced.

Some Web sites called her "Erin Pageviews" because of her popularity on the Internet, and Playboy magazine named her "sexiest sportscaster" in 2008 and 2009.

The videotapes caused a sensation on the Web, and Andrews topped Google's list of most searched terms for nearly a week in July, when the videos surfaced.

Andrews, who returned to work in September, told talk show host Oprah Winfrey she was horrified when she saw her nude videos posted on the Internet, and she feared her career was over.

"I opened up the computer and could feel my heart pounding," Andrews told Winfrey.

"I kept screaming, 'I'm done. My career is over. I'm done. Get it off. Get it off the Internet,'" said Andrews, recalling the phone call to her father when she first spotted the videos. "They thought I was physically injured, [that's] how bad I was screaming."

ABC News' Justin Weaver, Todd Conner and Russell Goldman contributed to this report.

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