ESPN has confirmed that sideline reporter Erin Andrews was the victim of an egregious invasion of privacy, in which someone videotaped an undressed EA in her hotel room through a peephole and posted the results to the Internet. Marshall B. Grossman, a high-powered lawyer representing Andrews, put out a release late Friday promising a push to bring criminal and civil charges to the unknown videographer as well as "anyone who has published the material."
Grossman wrote the following for a press release distributed widely by his firm:
"While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent. She was the victim of a crime and is taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future. Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material. We request respect of Erin's privacy at this time, while she and her representatives are working with the authorities."
News of the video circulated late this week, though it seems most did not believe the woman captured on tape was actually the ESPN star. The news gained particular steam with a Friday link from Deadspin to a blog which had hosted the video before being contacted by an ESPN lawyer. That an ESPN lawyer contacted the blog in question -- run by Doug Sheckler, a peddler of a few half-sports/half-softcore blogs -- seemed to initially implicate it was in fact Andrews in the video.
Deadspin's post ended up sending the story into overdrive, where it currently resides. (As of this posting, Andrews is involved in two of the top 10 Google hot trends for Saturday, narrowly edged by Tom Watson at the British Open.) Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio has since apologized for calling attention to the particular blog where the video was most recently posted. Though the video had already been removed, knowing where it was has given savvy web users a virtual roadmap to the video.
There will be a time for delving deeper into the root causes of the type of behavior that results in the criminal action Andrews has to deal with. But suffice to say that while misogyny is not limited to Internet culture, a wide swath of sports blogs -- dominated by the young male demographic -- enable the sort of gross attitude that makes something like this seem like a conquest instead of a violation.
Bloggers can't police the world, but they can police their own writing and the general tone their blog embodies regarding the female perspective. Many don't, and that's at least in part to blame for the disgusting objectification that leads someone to videotape a sideline reporter through a hotel peephole.
While undressed in her hotel room, popular ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was videotaped through a peephole, and the resulting footage was posted on the Internet. Now her lawyer vows that civil and criminal charges will be filed against the perpetrator(s). Click through to see more web scandals from the sports world.
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