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Erin Andrews Says ESPN Forced Her to Talk About Stalker on TV

UPDATE: A spokesperson for ESPN tells Us: “Developments in the case have been interpreted by some to mean that ESPN was unsupportive of Erin in the aftermath of her ordeal. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have been and continue to be supportive of Erin.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Erin Andrews broke down in court on Monday, February 29, as she opened up about the stalker who videotaped her in a hotel room back in 2008.

The sportscaster, 37, recently filed a $75 million lawsuit against former insurance executive Michael David Barrett and the Nashville Marriott hotel where she was filmed naked. He posted the nude video online.

Erin Andrews
Erin Andrews testifies Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.

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Barrett was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after cutting a peephole to see into Andrews’ hotel room in 2009. His 2013 deposition, where he revealed that he requested a room next to the star’s, was aired in court on Monday.

When it was Andrews’ turn to take the stand, she claimed that ESPN, her employer at the time, forced her to give a TV interview in the fallout.

“Because there wasn’t an arrest, because we didn’t know where this happened, my bosses at ESPN told me, ‘Before you go back on air for college football, we need you to give a sit-down interview.’ And that was the only way I was going to be allowed back,” she testified.

Erin Andrews is sworn in to testify Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.

Andrews did have the right to select who would conduct the interview, though. After much debate, she went with the Oprah Winfrey Show. She taped the segment in mid-August 2009, and it aired the following month.

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“They were highly recommending it be GMA [Good Morning America], because ESPN and ABC are the same, and they wanted it on GMA. But like my dad had said the other day, I didn’t want it to be a two-second thing where it’s like, ‘Was this a scandal, or was it not?’ No, this is my life, and I feel terrible about myself, and we want to figure out how this happened. So, I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to be a part of it,” she said, via Deadspin. “I just said, you know what, ‘I know because she’s very public about it, Oprah is a crime victim.’ I talked to her producers, I told her I didn’t want to do it. But this was the only way I was going to be put back on air.'”

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Andrews said that she was so stressed that she developed a rash while waiting in Winfrey’s green room. “I think her producer had heard me crying, and all of a sudden in walked Oprah, in her slippers, and her butterfly eyelashes. I didn’t have time to get up out of the chair, and she walked over to me, and I was hysterical,” Andrews said on Monday. “And she said, ‘I’ve got you, you’re safe here. I’ll take care of you.'”

It’s been nearly seven years since the interview, but Andrews is still emotionally distraught. “It’s always there. It’s always on my back,” she said. “I wanted to be the girl next door who loved sports, and now I’m the girl with a hotel scandal. … It’s on the Internet now. … It’s going to be on the Internet until I die.”

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