… ESPN reporter Erin Andrews became a victim of video voyeurism after someone shot video of her in a private moment through her hotel room peephole.
In conjunction with ESPN and her attorney, Andrews is working with authorities to catch the perpetrators of this heinous act, but the damage has been done. Her privacy has been invaded, and the video of her naked body is out there. Most Web sites have deleted the video under threat of legal action, but that can’t undo the fact that it was shot and posted in the first place.
Nor will it change what could be a ripple effect on women working on-camera in sports.
David Pahl, ESPN’s general counsel, said in a written statement to at least one Web site that “These pictures were obviously taken through a peephole or otherwise in a fashion constituting a trespass/assault on the rights of the woman involved.
“Your continued posting of these pictures are highly likely to render you an accessory after the fact to a criminal act. We hereby demand that you (i) immediately remove these pictures from your site and (ii) disclose to us the source of the pictures. We intend to hold you fully responsible for further display of material that so obviously violates the law.”
Andrews’ attorney, Marshall B. Grossman, said the commentator is working with police on the case, and was a “victim of a crime.”
“While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent,” he said in a statement. She is “taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future.
Whether Andrews has any genuine legal basis for threatening those sites that published the video, well, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know. But again, even if were legal, what are the ethics here that people have to be asked, told, or threatened to take that kind of material down?
My sympathies to Ms. Andrews for what she is going through.