Erin Andrews' stalker must pay $28 million
The man who secretly filmed Erin Andrews in a Nashville hotel room through a peephole in 2008 must pay the $28 million awarded to Andrews by a jury despite the fact that he is bankrupt, PEOPLE has confirmed
Judge Trish Brown of the U.S. Bankruptcy court in Oregon ruled that the damages owed by Michael David Barrett are “non-dischargeable,” according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE. Barrett was ordered to pay 51 percent of the $55 million awarded to Andrews in damages in March.
Barrett filed for bankruptcy in Oregon, where he lives, in 2012. Previously, he had served two years in prison after pleading guilty to interstate stalking of Andrews in 2009.
However, Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann wrote in an email to PEOPLE that “Andrews will likely never recover more than a tiny amount of the money Barrett owes her.”
McCann writes that as an ex-felon in his mid-50s, Barrett will likely find it difficult to obtain meaningful employment, let alone employment that will pay him the millions of dollars he owes Andrews.
“This is one of the limitations of civil judgements, particularly those for substantial amounts of money: Successful plaintiffs may never recover what they are owed,” he explained.
The remaining 49 percent of the money owed to Andrews – or $27 million – was assigned to be paid by West End Hotel Partners and Windsor Capital, the two companies that operate the Nashville Marriott. (Andrews initially sued Marriott International, but in January of 2016 Marriott International was dismissed from the suit after successfully arguing it was not legally responsible.)
Barrett, a former delivery truck driver, testified during the trial that his motivation for filming Andrews nude by removing peepholes from her door and pointing his cell phone camera into her hotel room was financial, and that he was “not proud” of what he had done.
Andrews, 38, often spoke through tears during the trial. She told the jury, “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.”
The Dancing With the Stars co-host said that she has experienced anxiety and depression. She said she spontaneously cries and that she has trouble sleeping.
Describing her initial shock, she said, “It was everywhere … my naked body was on the front page of the New York Post.”
“It’s on the internet now,” Andrews said. “And I’ve been told it’s going to be on the internet until I die.”
During the trial, Andrews testified that the video – which a computer forensic expert estimated in court has been seen by 16.8 million people – continues to haunt her.
“I think about it every day,” Andrews said on the stand. “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.'”