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How much should the hotels in the Erin Andrews case be blamed?

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Thumbnail image for erin-andrews.jpgOne would think that Michael Barrett, the man accused of taping Erin Andrews naked, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if it turns out the allegations are true. But, what of the hotels who allowed what's sounding more and more like a ridiculously obvious violation of Andrews' privacy? What, if anything, should be done in light of their unknowing assistance in this ugliness? Was the granting of the requests reasonable, given the circumstances?

Our own Richard Roeper, noted card player and White Sox enthusiast, explores the question in his column today.

In Monday's column I asked how the alleged pervo could stand outside a hotel room door, taking cell phone video footage of Erin Andrews through an altered peephole, and not attract attention.

According to the attorney for Andrews, the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University gave accused stalker Michael David Barrett and Andrews rooms at the end of the hall, in an alcove-type setting.

Maybe you've had a room like that. You walk down the long hallway, amazed that anyone would create such carpet patterns, and then you get to the "end" of the hall, where you take a quick turn and there's an alcove with just two doors.

So perhaps, maybe, allegedly, Barrett calls a particular hotel because he knows ESPN's covering a game that weekend and Andrews will be staying there. He doesn't ask if Andrews is staying there. He says something along the lines of, "My friend Erin Andrews has a room booked for the weekend. Can you book our rooms side by side in an alcove?"

I guess I could see how some employees working the phones would take this at face value. You check the log, you see Andrews is coming with ESPN, you figure this guy must know her, you're all about pleasing the customers, you book the side-by-side rooms in the requested alcove.

Not that I'm letting the hotel off the hook. I'm just saying I could see how it would happen.

In that scenario, doesn't it seem reasonable that the hotel staff explore exactly who the person making the request is? When a person who is in the public eye stays at your establishment, shouldn't extra care be taken to insure their anonymity and personal privacy?

Again, the real perp here is the person doing the taping -- and I have a hard time believing anyone at any of these hotels looked the other way -- but it certainly seems bizarre that hack-sawing and drilling could be taking place in the halls without anyone noticing. 

For his part, Barrett doesn't seem to fond of being videotaped himself, as he pushed away camera outside of the courthouse yesterday.

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1 Comment

What would possess someone to do something like this? He didn't make any money on it. What entity would pay for it anyway? Yea, the hotel is at fault also. Since when do they give out info on their guests. I can see if you are going to a wedding and want to be near your family but who gives out info on a celebrity? What a screwed up and embarrassing moment for Erin Andrews. I hope they throw the book at this freak.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on October 6, 2009 11:31 AM.

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