The sports world’s obsession with Erin Andrews has taken a disturbing turn.
A lawyer for the popular ESPN sideline reporter says that she was unwittingly videotaped through a peephole in a hotel room without her consent and that she intends to take legal action against the still unknown perpetrators.
The video, which was later posted on the Internet, showed a woman in the nude. Reports say the initial video posting made no direct reference to Andrews being that woman, but her attorney later confirmed it.
“While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent,” Andrews’ attorney, Marshall B. Grossman, said in a statement on Friday via PR Newswire. “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.”
It was not clear from the reports what hotel the video was filmed in or when it was made. The video has since been pulled from the Internet.
ESPN also came to Andrews’ defense.
“Erin has been grievously wronged,” ESPN spokesman Mark Mandel said Saturday. “Our people and resources are in full support of her as she deals with this abhorrent act.”
Photos: Erin Andrews isn’t the only sports figure who has become embroiled in an Internet scandal. Check out these athletes who found trouble on the World Wide Web.
On Monday, MSNBC.com reported that may contain a link to a virus in a Trojan horse that could be downloaded by users.
“There are lots more sites out there pretending to host the Erin Andrews peephole video, but really hosting malicious software,” said Graham Cluley of anti-virus software maker Sophos on a company blog.
“Hackers have created Web pages claiming to contain the notorious … video in their attempt to infect Mac and Windows computers,” he wrote.
Andrews has been a subject of fascination ever since bursting onto the scene with ESPN. She was voted America’s Sexiest Sportscaster by Playboy in 2007 and 2008.
She started working for ESPN in May 2004 as a member of their NHL coverage and has since covered numerous other sports, including college football and basketball, MLB and the College World Series.
Andrews also made headlines recently when she was taken to a hospital after being hit on the chin by a foul ball during an MLB telecast.