A man who stalked and secretly shot nude videos of sportscaster and TV host Erin Andrews says the plan was to sell the recordings because he needed the money.
A recorded deposition of Michael David Barrett was played Monday for jurors during Andrews’ civil trial. She is suing Barrett and a hotel owner and operator for $75 million.
Barrett said he posted the recordings online after celebrity gossip website TMZ refused to buy it. The only reason he picked Andrews was because she was popular and he saw that she was trending on Yahoo, he said.
When an attorney asked him how he got the idea to shoot videos through the hotel room peepholes, he said: "I don’t know, just a stupid thought."
In another deposition, he said he saw a bellman removing a hotel peephole.
Barrett spent 2 1/2 years in federal prison after he admitted to renting hotel rooms next to the Andrews three times and shooting nude videos of her in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio, and posting them on the Internet.
Andrews has sued Barrett and the owner and manager of the Marriott at Vanderbilt. The Nashville hotel is a franchise.
The hotel companies say Barrett is solely to blame and he alone should be held responsible.
Barrett was an executive at a Chicago-area insurance company when he shot the video at the Nashville hotel in September 2008. He didn’t say why he was in financial difficulty, but testimony showed that he gambled online.
Barrett said he was able to alter the peepholes on the front doors of Andrews’ hotel rooms, so he could pull them out and hold his cellphone up to the empty hole and shoot the video.
Andrews’ hotel room in Nashville was in an alcove and off the main hallway, so Barret was able to get about 4 1/2 minutes of video of her undressing.
At the time of the stalking, Andrews was working for ESPN and staying in the Nashville hotel to help cover a college football game for the network. She now works for Fox Sports and is a host for the TV show "Dancing With the Stars."
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